Slowly and gracefully, with an ease and air of confidence, the Moon rose from behind the Bookcliffs. She held herself effortlessly, suspended somewhere between space and Earth. I, on the other hand, was in a vortex of hurry and rush and lists and obligations and expectations. It was September 29th, and from behind heavy eyelids, I held her gaze. On my way to the next thing on the list, a list I had undoubtedly created for myself with not enough time in between obligations for picking up children from school and stopping at the store for more milk and going to lunch with my husband and making it home for dinner and for going to the bathroom, I pulled my truck to the side of the street. Shifted into park and sobbed. And the Moon held steady, held space and held light, for me. Her glow illuminating in all directions, outward and upward. To me. And in the light, I sobbed. Because here I was, alone in my truck. Exhausted. Hungry. And so lost in the dream I had brought to reality. Sobbed big fat heavy hot tears of worry and exhaustion and anxiety and guilt and doubt and excitement.
But I also sobbed because I had done some quick math while shifting into park on the side of a busy college street. 29 days. September 29th. It had to have just been a week, maybe two, three at the very most since my husband and I had sat outside that August evening. Holding hands and turning ourselves to the rising Moon lifting herself over the distant mountains. Holding space while we held hands. It could not have been 29 days. Could not have been enough days between the Moon being whole and then waning and waxing back into wholeness. An entire lunar cycle between holding hands and holding my breath. How could it be that I had been moving so much, so fast for so many days that I had missed 29 days? How had I not held still, held space for that many days? And in those days that I thought I was waxing; maybe here on the side of the street in messy sobs, I realized I had only been waning.
How is that the Moon can hold space so brilliantly and so effortlessly? Moving through an entire lunar phase in 29 days from full to empty and all the way back to whole? But holding space in each fraction of the phase? Like the evening in August when she rose, my husband and I there watching in awe like this was the first time we had witnessed such beauty, so strong and sure. A Harvest Moon. Her wholeness captivating. And then, for the following nights, she still shows up. Still rises. A Maya Angelou. Holds space, even if by just a little less. And then there are those nights, somewhere hidden in the 29 days, where she, too, is hidden. Dark but still present. Is that holding space? Even when not in the light? Even when not making light? On her way to the Hunters Moon, she slipped away in the morning’s dusk to rest. And we let her, knowing she would re-emerge with a newfound strength and energy. We did not think of her any less when she appeared as a crescent earring dangling from the sky’s corner.
But here I was, a snotty mess on my way to something on the list that required mascara. My windshield filled with the Moon’s body, round and pregnant with light. How had I lost 29 days? How busy had I been? How much busy did I create? How many spaces was I trying to hold and show up in? A wife. A daughter. A mother. An employee. An author. A speaker. A business owner. A friend. A dreamer. Until this moment on the side of the street, I thought I was waxing. Building. Growing. Illuminating. Holding space. But in this moment, I knew I was waning. Maybe was completely absent. Hidden. Was I still holding space or had I lost everything? Lost me?
Adjusting the rearview mirror to examine my red and swollen eyes, my black-streaked cheeks, I let the light of the Moon highlight my face. And it came to me. The Moon is holding space for one thing. Light. And whether that is in fullness, wholeness or in the form of a crescent or a slice or a sliver, there is still space being held for light. Space is held in the phases that lead back to whole. Space is held in the darkness. In the growing and the rebuilding. Wiping my eyes, I nodded to the Moon. Let her hold my smile for a moment longer. Let her see me holding space for my own light. Let her see me slip into the twilight of late September. Slip away into the darkness to hold space.
I am realizing I am not as graceful nor as confident as the Moon when it comes to existing in the darkness and knowing that cycles are never-ending. I am realizing I want finish lines and hard lines and absolutes. I am further realizing that those too are never-ending. I am coming to understand that waning is as beautiful as waxing. That disappearing is as courageous as showing back up.
In the next 21 days, as the Moon emerges from the darkness, whole, I hope you can hold space for your light in whatever phase you find yourself in, knowing that you too need time to rest and rebuild before re-emerging.