Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cycles, both Moon and Seasons

As I've been watching the moon move to fullness, I've been thinking about the last time I saw the full moon:  when I was at Mepkin Abbey.  A month ago, I'd have already been on the road for a few hours.

The night of June 9, we were all trying to see the full moon rise, but our view was obscured by trees and clouds.  We could see an orange orb trying to break through as we walked back up from the river.  I stayed up longer than my friend and walking partner.

One of our fellow retreatents decided to stretch out on the vast grassy area to watch the moon.  I didn't have her dedication.  She reported that it was glorious.

On Saturday morning, as I walked to the refectory for breakfast at 5:15 a.m., I tried to take pictures of the moon as it was setting:

A monk in a wheelchair broke the time of silence to tell me that I had missed the moon at its best, when it rose last night, so orange.  I whispered, "I saw it too."

I thought about how we are all bewitched by the moon, even as most of us have religious practices that don't root us in the natural world.  But the monks at Mepkin Abbey may be more rooted in the natural world than the rest of us, as they do some small scale farming.

Soon I will head to church to lead services today so that my pastor can enjoy some vacation time.  When I agreed to do it, July 9 seemed so far into the future.  As I'm thinking about the fact that we're at the halfway point of the year, I realize that soon our attention will shift again.  I'm already seeing displays of school supplies--can Halloween be far behind?

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