The moon is waxing now, a bright belly of silver growing thicker before the shadow beside it. Perhaps it is race memory, one we can finally touch and see when we look at the moon and see the burgeoning belly of a mother she goes through her phases. How lucky we are to be able to see this cycle, faithfully, consistently, every month, keeping us company in the dark as we walk the long driveway back home, opening the door to who knows what when we get there.
We’re familiar with the phrase and the warm feelings we have when we say “the miracle of life.” Once in a while I see a gravid woman and I wonder what everyone else thinks when they see her belly. Got some baby going on there, I say to myself and I remember my own baby-making days, those early times. Then I turn away and get back to the business of the day which is usually selling auto parts, largely having forgotten the art of patience. I am not a patient person by nature, and it shows in the way I raised my son and the way I handle myself and my customers… but I am quite patient with my co-workers for some reason. Maybe it’s because I need allies? Do I have this same patience for my writing? No. Perhaps I would write more if I did.
Today I ask, do we have that same awe-inspiring feeling when we see a person taking their last steps out of the living world? Do we give the same appreciation, respect, and awe for the “miracle of death?” No. I know we don’t. Because it’s a leave-taking, one we did not ask for and certainly did not give permission to receive. Yesterday I began meditating on the miracle of death, watching over a human being–someone I love–struggling to stay in this world yet somehow knowing they have to move on into the next. The nurse wondered if my father needed something for anxiety (ah, those magic pills) and we said no, he’s ok right now. I’d like to ask the nurse for something to help me with my anger… but that’s too easy, isn’t it?
The moon will wane into darkness, just as she sets each night into the ocean waves. Each setting is a new beginning, a moonrise for someone else out there beyond the waves. I told someone that a long time ago, and I wonder if those words are remembered. I suppose what’s more important is that I know it is true. Each breath has a beginning and end. Can I sit still long enough and appreciate?