I remember being ten years old reading Time For Kids in my 5th grade classroom and discovering that the sun was due to explode in 2013.
I counted with care and calculated my age at the end of the world as 24. I felt at the time that 24 was plenty of time to accomplish all the important things before Earth froze over and my life ended along with all those other billions. I felt at ease that my close would follow the sputter of sun’s life and light.
Now, as I find myself in that should-have-been fated year, I look back at the previous eight months of 2013 and wonder if maybe things would have been easier had the sun’s time run long and mine had come to its close after all.
I know it sounds morbid, but this year has been my heaviest to date. I’ve found myself in darkness far beyond any light and some days it seems my own sun has taken its infinite retirement. I think back to where that ten-year-old girl thought I’d be, and feel sorrow that her predictions were so off.
As my clouded head drifts back to old words that used to give my mind solace, my knotted chest can sometimes breathe easier.
“[The new moon can be] loved best because there [is] still room for it to grow, to expand, to fill the whole of its surface with light.”
~ Paulo Coehlo
The first time I read those words, I realized how blind I had been about the beauty of the moon’s monthly darkness because I was stuck in my love of light. Like I said, my ten-year-old self prepared for death with the loss of the sun.
On the bright/dark side, in the moon’s darkness, there is potential for any outcome, any dream, any possibility of filling the darkness of one’s choosing. This year, I find myself facing day after day that my neck is too beaten to keep head high and my feet take root in hope of no further darkness.
But, as I learn to love the new moon (the first phase of the moon, in which it is not usually visible) along with her bright sister, I see these are the days that will warrant creation of light brighter than I have ever shone in the past. New moons are meant for a time of seeding the new, and a chance to break away from past (shedding grief, routines and beyond). As such, I find myself counting down to her dark times with as much apprehension as her brightest, in hopes that my bright times will return.
At least her darker half still has room to change and grow.
With my brain so waterlogged by anxious thoughts, dreaded unknowns and swelled with aches, I’ve had to learn to live without light. However, turning things on its head and letting Coehlo’s wisdom reign helps me see that I’m gaining something that light limits.
Now, in my current moonless sky, I’ve been given the freedom to plant new seeds and to grow new life. I have space to remember why and how I came to love the new moon’s darkness.
We always stake such effort to pay homage to the full moon’s brilliance and power, but I think we should all grow to love her lightless times too.
I’m hoping that when tonight’s darkness sets, I can remember that despite those dreads, unknowns and aches, I can be still and know that the moon will undoubtedly again fill, and that I too will regain my shine. Sometimes darkness isn’t the scary thing we’ve made it, it just lets the stars shine brighter and gives us room to grow and expand, like Coehlo says.
So tonight with the night’s dark, I will honor my darkness and its beauty.
I will savor that earth’s dearest celestial body schedules its own darkness to rest and prepare for seeding and rebirth. I will seek this new moon as an opportunity as I settle under the dark moon tonight. I will dream up potential for light that can disappear bits of this darkness that weighs me this lunar cycle, and those that have come to pass.
Hail to the new moon and all she stands to teach us.
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Assistant Ed.: Meagan Edmondson / Ed.: Catherine Monkman