Sunday, September 22, 2013

Senses Inventory: Moonglow

   At around 3 this morning I woke with a peculiar restlessness and decided to do some reading to train my thoughts and lull my body back to sleep. Tip-toeing past the west-facing hallway windows of our upstairs hallway, Moonglow stopped me in my tracks. It was spectacular and nearly brought me to tears. Happy, amazed tears. So before doing any reading, I stole down the carpeted stairs and slipped outside in my navy blue cotton kimono for a Senses Inventory.

Startling silver light, this enchanted moon glow, washing over every shape in the farm. Stars as clear and glittering as they've ever been, arranged on that expansive black sky into secret patterns, coded messages about love and faith and promises. I definitely feel them looking at me in this private moment of reflection. Towering pine trees silhouetted in inky black against the sky, which is a deep grey there behind the forest, feathery and swirled before it turns the truest black for the stars. Shadows long and still, repeating the shapes of the basketball goal onto the driveway and a power pole onto the front lawn. I twist around toward our house, this place that has become such a wonderful refuge and oasis for us, and the big picture window is pouring out golden light, the only warmth of the scene. One lamp there burns like a thousand yellow candles. From there I look up, over the house and to the south, and see the distant moon. It is waning now, past its Harvest glory, and at this hour of night much smaller than how we saw it driving home, when it had loomed huge and heavy, and molten, over the hay meadows. The man in the moon grins. I notice the constellations again and marvel at the clarity of the sky.

Tree frogs singing. A screech owl calling out its hunger. Cheeps (baby chickens) twittering contentedly in that white Rose of Sharon bush. Crickets. So many beautiful, peaceful crickets. I can hear the interstate just a couple of miles away, and it's easy to imagine the ocean instead. I hear a mysterious rattling in the drying canna stalks behind me and think I had better get inside soon. How many screech owls are there? Now the buffalo chuffs at me through the bright darkness, inquiring at my purpose at this strange hour. I blow him a kiss. The geese whimper, and I can pick out Mia's voice among them.

I smell the smoky remnants of yesterday's little bonfire. There is not even the slightest breeze, so I can smell the chill. The dirt, the grass, the air, the shrubs... Everything smells cold and fresh. Clean, expectant. I smell my husband on me, my own shampooed hair, and if I breathe deeply... A trace of skunk spray.

Cold, rough concrete beneath my bare feet. A stray flower stalk there, too. The cold woven metal strips of the garden bench where I'm sitting and cool, smooth watermelons (temporary autumn decorations) to my left. So much cold, clean, refreshing air. Silver air. My cotton kimono is needed, and the generous sleeve openings allow in so much cold that the skin on my ribs and stomach seizes up slightly. I cross one leg over the other and feel another rushing chill.

I taste almost nothing, just that sweet blankness of water. I've so far resisted the temptation of a midnight snack.

I think about how wonderful it would be to sleep outdoors in all of this intricate, saturated beauty. No bugs, even. I remember similar nights from the past, both special family camping trips and average bedtimes when I taught the girls to observe their sensations, thoughts, and feelings and release them into the night sky to get sleepy. We called it "Sparkling," and it worked every time. I hear the oceanic interstate hum again and remember childhood in southeastern Oklahoma, and I wish to hear a train like then. I must learn more constellations. Thinking just lightly about marriage, friendships, romance. About how incredibly good and rich this life is. How loving people can be.

After attending a wedding last night, and after soaking up this sensual midnight paradise, I feel deeply romantic. Swooning, even... Drunk on the details of the night. I miss my children of course; I do almost constantly. But for the first time in a very long time, I feel content and peaceful about that particular pain. I feel more joy for them than anything else as well as perfect, steady faith that everything is ok. I feel dangerously relaxed on this metal garden bench.

   My midnight reverie was brought to an abrupt end by some scampering, nervous noises in the flower bed. My eyes had grown heavy again, and  my spirit was light again. I used the last scrap of energy in my body to move back inside the house. Although every window had been open, allowing the night's cold to visit our rooms, the front door threshold bathed me in warmth. I felt good and safe. Held. 

My Cup Overfloweth


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