Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold Moon Visitor

The other night, as usual, I went around the house closing up.  When I turn off the last light and close my laptop here at the kitchen table, the stars are visible out the back slider. I usually open the door and gaze for a moment or two, but this night the sky is so open and clear, I make my way through the dark house, pull on a jacket, and step outside.

The moon is just past the half, illuminating the crusty snow, the bones of the gazebo, the sentinel trees.  Branches overhead intertwine and entangle, yet the stars peek through.  I'm looking for Orion's Belt -- the three stars in a row that point to one of the brightest stars in the winter sky, Sirius.  Each step on the ice-encrusted pavers interrupts the night's quiet.

There they are, three points of light, recognizable amid the jumble of winter constellations whose names I don't know. Orion is the mythological  hunter.  It seems we are all hunting for something in deep winter.

Standing on the frozen ground looking up at the heavens orients me somehow.  It banishes anxieties, large and small.  And there have been some large ones.  The death of my husband's mother.  Starting a new job.  Under the stars, perspective enlarges and stresses take their place in the order of things. Breathing in the frigid air feels like inhaling eternity.

As I walk back to the porch, my echoing foot steps disturb an owl!  I look over my shoulder to see him flying in utter silence, white wings gliding.  He settles himself on a craggy branch.  He is marveling at how little I know about his territory -- the dark night, the frigid winter, the sprawling stars.

The owl teaches us to abide these mysteries. He possesses silent wisdom, vision in the night.  Nocturnal omens like these are charged with the import of dreams. Some underground river of knowing unfreezes and begins to yield it's secrets.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Please Leave a Comment: