New moons are dark. No light found to guide a path or direct the way, no reflection from windows to see where the barns are, the dusted storage of past hopes and hurts kept alive and still. No wind shuttling clouds to the side of a giant lit circle of possibilities. No, the new moon is dark.
Something new has no light, not quite yet. What you bring to the darkness is yours alone, heavy and cool in a palm weighted by old dreams ready to slip under the surface of who you have been. The new moon lets you do this unseen, unwatched, the blackness a gift of private reconstruction on your own quiet stage.
How many ways we try to light this path that needs darkness in order to begin. How many lamps, lights, torches and companions we reach for when there is no agreement that can happen in this night. It isn’t meant to always share, some things can be left alone.
All day I have reached for my phone, and set it down, wanted to explain, or try, to anyone who might understand, and then, finally I understood. What I am going to bring to this night is mine, and there is no ‘me too’ that will change the uneasiness, no commiseration or trying to talk it out that will change the unknowing of it.
Sometimes others want to know what you are thinking, feeling, seeing when you talk, write or explain a day in the life of you. This new moon uncovers within you a knowing that some things are meant to be held, unexplained, all your own. Some things can belong to only you. Take them out tonight to this new moon and dance with them—alone, free and silent in your shaded unseen circle. All yours. All new. Let them begin.
You went somewhere I could not find you. That last year, on the phone, I would say your name as many times as I could. Hi dad. Thank you dad. I love you dad. Bye dad. Every time I said it another tie to who you had been to me, who you had always been, the name I called you the same as all the years I had been yours, your daughter.
As I got older, I saw you less for what role you played for me, and more the man you were, the one you wanted to be—honest, charming, solid and sure. Your height kept me small, protected—the memory of the night when I watched ‘Carrie’ on tv in the cold side room of our old farm house. Too young and so scared I yelled from my bed, dad, dad, dad! Down the hall you walked, and slept in the other twin bed. How did you know to do that without making me feel weak, childish?
Your name held me to you, all those years, and especially the last few months, knowing you were leaving, the losing of you honest, solid, sure. I don’t know how to do this I said to my sisters. You don’t have to know, not yet, they said.
And then I knew.
I say your name still, into that place where I cannot find you. I miss you dad. I remember you dad. I won’t ever forget you.
The things we want to stay, wish to stay, hope to stay the same, are the very things impossible to keep. Someone else’s attention, fleeting and fierce, wanes in the natural course of their next thing. Pointing in a new direction for them feels like a loss of direction for us. Unknown and unkept, the movement into their next thing opens up our attention to something else, the familiar turn of life ever receding and bringing in newness from the tide of change. The sea glass worn by time and sand, it’s novelty beautiful and clear.
‘Let it go’ can be a trite saying, a prescription to feel better, said over and over to someone suffering from something lost. How can we let go of what we never had? The releasing isn’t of the thing we wished for, it’s letting go of the wish itself. The longing for better days, riding in on what we believe someone else holds for us. Letting go of what we think they hold, that’s the open handed prayer, the supplication and forgiveness rolled into one tumbled stone of tide sanded clarity.
Taking back your power from someone else isn’t exactly what it is, it is more taking back your part of the agreement you made to wait for them. No one else really takes your power, but at times your waiting does feel powerless. Removing them as the author of that feeling is the first kind truth.
Your power never left, it is the thing that stayed and stays. The power to begin again and again, thats the story waiting to be written.
I was born, by luck and design, in a country that was free. I lived in frog soaked fields and drove in a bus to school past yellowed farms, wash on spinning laundry lines, and birds making homes in trees solid and sweet with syrup.
At night, when the crickets sang their shared symphony, I slept under a moon that came through windows in silent prayer.
This country is wide and open, in more than landscape, its doors swinging easily, the way a screen door clatters as you walk past with a plate of watermelon balanced on your hip.
This country is wild springs, rain that is wet and then frozen, stopping streets and keeping home for a day the ones who need to rest. She is hot muggy summers, small black flies circling screaming children running through sprinklers on lawns green and new. She is riotous fall, maple keys spiraling down wind tunneled leaf foggy evenings. She is winter cold, silent, the drifts of snow greying with age and the wisdom of wear another sweater, stay sitting, stoke the fire.
She is mothering and wild and true, and she is mine.
It does not matter where I live now, by luck or design, what landscape I see as I look out windows of the home I have chosen. I return again and again, to remember who I am, who I was, and who I will ever be, nurtured by this country, this land, this Canada.