Sunday, March 31, 2013

Watching for Openings

The full moon kept me awake Wednesday night. Well, probably too much caffeine kept me awake, but the moon entertained me. It was a mostly cloudy night after a partly sunny day. There wasn’t much open space for the moon, but it was trying. I first noticed it about ten o’clock, after I turned out my light. The moonrise was stage left, behind the house and the trees; but its spotlight cut a swath over the valley, as brightly as its sister sunrise greets the day. And then it was gone. Too much cloud cover.

At eleven o’clock, tossing and turning, I turned toward the window again. The moon had found an opening and the pale orb slid silently into it, peering out at the earth below. “Oh. Wow.” I said. Yes, out loud. I left my bed and slipped barefoot out into the warm somewhat humid night to be in the presence of the mystery. Back in bed, I watched as the moon passed by the cloud hole, or the cloud hole passed by the moon, and was gone again. It found one more opening, caught behind the fir tree, then that was it. I kept opening my eyes to look for it – that’s the part where the moon kept me awake – but the rain started soon after that and it did not reappear. I finally drifted to sleep and dreamed of openings.

The sun has been shining all week. Except Wednesday – yoga day, drive to Olympia day – it was supposed to rain. It rained Tuesday night and again Wednesday night, so I guess that fulfilled the forecast. I don’t quite have the terminology here down yet: when a day qualifies as partly cloudy, mostly sunny, mostly cloudy, partly sunny. But Wednesday was all the above. The sky (unlike today, which is all blue, and I am writing outside) was constantly changing. It is one of the things I love about this place. Anyway, it did not rain during daylight hours on Wednesday as the clouds shape-shifted in and out; an opening I needed.

My day in Olympia always opens me up, especially when it is not overcast and foggy (though I love that too): the drive through the prairie where the sky is big, the tall straight firs point all eyes upward, and there are glimpses of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. Puget Sound’s Budd Inlet pushes its finger into the city and beckons me out into the open water and on to the vast open ocean. Another day I will follow that call. And yoga always opens my breath and my body that somehow get closed off and tight the rest of the week.

I like to read other people’s blogs, to see what is on their minds and where I might find inspiration (another word for opening). I discovered some new ones this week. One told a story about children’s soccer games, and how children huddle around the ball as it moves up and down the field. Bumblebee Ball we called it when my children were new players and the team swarmed around the queen – mostly watching the best player kick the ball around. It is not a winning form of play. The team the blogger talked about, though, was the best kindergarten team in the league. What was the secret? Why was there no swarming? The coach told them to look for open space; the coach said that was where they would find the opportunity. “Oh. Wow.” I said. Yes, out loud. I’m contemplating on that one.

One of my favorite bloggers, Amelia, has been following a challenge to post something on her blog, Wake Up and Write, everyday during March. Speaking of looking for the opening. When you blog regularly, or write a morning sentence, carry a camera everywhere you go, or do anything creative with discipline, you really have to watch for openings. It takes a certain awareness of life that otherwise might go unnoticed. Amelia has been writing around the theme, “One Pilgrim’s Progress.” This poem, Being a Pilgrim by Mark Nepo, has been her opening into the practice this month:

To journey without being changed

is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying

is to be a chameleon.

To journey and to be transformed

by the journey
is to be a pilgrim.
We are all on a journey, there is no getting around that. The challenge, I think, is to recognize it as opportunity. To be transformed is to allow ourselves to watch for the openings and have the courage to move into them.

It is Easter. Easter is a time for transformation, for openings, for new life. It is not just a day. In the liturgical calendar it is a whole season. Lent is past (though personal Lent may go on for a while longer), and it is time to watch for Easter openings. Maybe it is time to ramp up the journey, to check the map, to exchange the old map for a new one. Another blog I found this week, thanks to another blogging friend, Joanna, introduced me to some opening up questions. I’m going to be studying on them in the next weeks.

What is my unique purpose?

How am I releasing the magic of the moment?

How am I venturing into uncertainty?

How am I focusing the power of my intent?

How am I supporting growth?

How am I learning to see the invisible?

How am I returning my gift?

How am I keeping my energy clear and bright?

Happy Easter openings, whenever and wherever you discover them.

I am leaving this week to embrace spring in North Carolina (though I’m no longer sure it has anything on spring in the PNW), to visit friends and old haunts, and to squeeze my grandsons. I will take a two week break from My View from the Garden to give my spirit an opportunity to watch for new openings.

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