As I was driving home from school this evening, I rounded a corner and ran into a glorious site: the most stunning harvest moon that I have seen in a very long time. Well, it wasn’t quite a full moon—but it was a breathtaking half moon gleaming and gold, partially concealed in the evening’s wispy fog (or maybe clouds – I was too distracted by the moon itself to tell, I only know it hung, nestled in a bevy of wispy whiteness) and it took my breath away. As there was no one else on the road, I was free to admire for a bit before continuing my drive home. The moon, after all, is a manifestation of a God that I adore, deeply and utterly and I consider such unexpected glimpses of such loveliness as I saw tonight to be small gifts, tiny blessings, ineffable grace notes that brighten the sometimes weary process of living.
The small shock of such a moment of unexpected beauty shook me out of the lazy ennui of my evening. It brought me back to a sense of connectedness with the ancestors, the Gods, the world—such an insignificant thing and yet so important for me tonight. I should add that our moon God is beautiful, He and His chariot suspended as they are in the night’s inky darkness reek of a beauty so immense and at the same time so strange that the word itself seems little more than a brittle, shallow container for the reality of what on our tongues it is asked to hold. He is everything of sensuality, longing, mystery, delight, flirtation, danger, abandon, mystery - evocative and inspiring in a thousand ways large and small. In the meanderings of my imagination, I could see Him easily dining on ambrosia with Dionysus or riding fierce and mad in a hunt more ancient than that of Odin. These are but my own imaginings though and they vanish easily in light (pun very much intended) of the outward manifestation of His mysteries: the moon itself. At least tonight.
Moments like these are one of the things that call my mind back to the Gods and ancestors. When I’m tired and overworked, it’s easy, tempting even, to tune out, unplug, disconnect. I’m grateful for those moments that remind me not to do that. It’s happened before, always with something seemingly insignificant, something that would likely have no meaning for anyone else but me: when I am least expecting it, I stumble across something that shocks me back into mindfulness, into connection. It’s usually something very simple, very pleasant, and often quite lovely. Sometimes, like tonight, it’s something that reminds me of a specific God or Goddess that I adore and Whose veneration I hold dear. As I grow older, I find myself more willing to pay attention to these little gifts, and more adept at recognizing them when they come my way (after all, there is more than a little truth in the old adage about being able to lead a horse to water but not make him drink…).