The full moon guides me out of bed like a follow-spot guides a dancer across a darkened stage. The light twirls and sparkles through the twisting tree branches that wave in the wind. These monthly midnight callings have a familiarity like a lover’s whisper; wake up darling, and pay attention.
It was some 20 years ago when I heard the first whispers to rise. I was a few months shy of my 36th birthday when the now familiar tugging sensation began. It rose from below the surface of my all consuming life; a life filled with two young boys, a new entrepreneurial business, and all the tinsel and trappings that come with the sound dream. The moon’s voice whispered: Wake up! Pay attention! I had been standing on my front porch in my quiet neighborhood, the only light reflected from the moon on a midnight sky. I was still whirling from the revelation my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the father of our children, had recently revealed, that he "can’t go on like this any more”. That single sentence exploded inside me like a quiet ember igniting with pure oxygen. "Holy shit, Holy shit!!" Every cell in my body screamed in pain and, yet also felt deliriously free. 'It’s happening,' I heard from within my being. Just what that was still remained unclear to my other self. Declarations and questions bounced together in a confusing heat. It’s happening now!! I heard. My current reality, all of its pieces; the young broken girl put together as a woman as if from a recipe for a happy family; my internal Stepford wife/real housewife facade worn to please…who? All of it was being shattered. The world I had worked so hard to create was exploding in technicolor in my living room as my husband and partner and best friend of 20 years uttered this truth…. our truth. And the most peculiar part of it all was that it felt alive and freeing and scary and powerful all at the same time.
Weeks flowed past like a roaring river until the night before my 36th birthday. Being an April baby, the Easter holidays danced around my birthday and that year it landed on the Sunday. When I was a child I always loved it when my birthday fell on Good Friday; a day off from school, dying easter eggs, eating candy, baking birthday cake and wearing new spring dresses. I felt much of the focus on me, which seemed rare as the middle daughter in a family of 6. That 36th year I woke up late into the night and I slipped out onto my front porch. The cold concrete numbed my bare feet and the night chill passed through my thin night gown. I held my chest open with my heart lifting like a magnet towards the moonlight, pleading to it’s blue glow to help me understand and make sense of the crumbling life around me. As I stood there all alone I felt a deep and sacred sense of knowing that no one else knew, that everyone else knew; a truth that one talked about; that few knew how to talk about it. There in that moment with the universe was my longing laid bare, a longing for more connection, more nakedness, more dance, more life, and more opportunity to express it all without being misunderstood. I was too wrapped up in anger to consciously realize it then, but looking back on that birthday with the clarity that 20 years hindsight can impart, I realize that underneath all the fear-based emotions I felt a sense of rebirth of resurrection. I still smile at the universal perfection when I recall that in all the 35 birthday’s leading up to that fateful year, that 36th birthday was the first to fall on easter Sunday.
Heading back to the bed in which I still slept next to the man who was in love with another woman, I came to terms with the reality that despite two decades together he may never have been in love with me. For the first time I began to feel into the depth of being alone, so alone with my still husband next to me I felt suffocated, and so alone that I still wanted him to be there for me. As a child I was notorious for being the last one out of bed; now I slept knowing my intention was to wake early and take a walk down to the beach. These early morning walks became my savior. Soon the walking became loping into a jog and then into a run. It felt like the rage and grief moving out of my body, was pounded it into the pavement. I literally stamped out my choices.
Over the ensuing year, I found myself often, standing outside watching the moon. It's energy has intrigued me for most of my life, but this year, my 36th year, my intimate relationship with the moon commenced. I began to bathe in it's reflective light, tracking it’s cycle to orient myself by my front porch. I found myself deep in the night or early morning, alone with the moon, alone for the first time in my life with no one to distract me, to hold me, to preoccupy me from myself. I exposed myself to myself with only the cycles of the moon's presence bearing witness as I began to discover who I really was and where and how and why I wanted to be me.
The cycles of the moon bring us back to the ebb and flow of those influences on our soul’s journey. When the full moon catches our attention it is undeniable. The sight of her full belly in the sky can reveal itself as the source of the internal tidal swings we have been unconsciously feeling as she has exerted her pull on our internal waters. The giant luminous orb as it crests the horizon into the night sky often feels majestic. We may be less consciously aware of her presence as she waxes and wanes through the month, though her effects on the tidal range of our emotions is no less pronounced be her new or full. Perhaps this is why we croon our necks to the full moon; she is a reminder of that which we have felt for the past 28 days, and that which we likely will forget for the next. As we tune in to our own internal cycles we are reminded she is there, like our own breath, in and out, a linear reminder of the fluidity of our existence. Taking the time to orient to the rhythm of the moon allows an opportunity to reflect on the more subtle aspects of Self. She illuminates and orchestrates our cosmic dance, a celestial follow spot on Nataraja herself. As the sun sets we can allow the distractions of the day to fall away, and with that release allow the moon’s reflective light to call our intuitive wisdom to the forefront. While the sun calls us into action, the moon guides us to bathe in our inner knowing. We put down our persona of the day and begin our moonlighting job, revealing the full spectrum of who we are.