The beautiful full moon greeted me tonight as I walked out of the church where I had just attended a Labyrinth workshop. I was pensive and discouraged, reminded of why I very rarely go out in the evenings. It was the first labyrinth I had walked in more than 7 years, and I realized just how much my body has changed in these intervening years. Tonight as I walked, my hips, lower back, pelvis, and knees ached in such pain that I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way into and out of the labyrinth. Today had been full, and dear body couldn’t hold up for an after dinner outing, even one so deeply desired. It’s not often that we’re confronted with the realization of just how much daily life has changed from what it used to be.
I’ve known that the chronic pain I live with has been increasing. Most nights I’m up 4, 5, 6 times from being awoken with the pain. I have excellent health care, both traditional and alternative, and have been helped much by many modalities. However, this is something that just doesn’t seem to go away, no matter the healer, therapist, medication, intervention, or prayer.
What is it about things that don’t go away in our lives? Those things that we work on, work with, in a variety of ways? Most of us have some challenge like this in our lives. How do you discern when to pour all your energy, time, (and money) into searching for anything that will alleviate the difficulty of the challenge, and when to accept this unasked-for “gift” as something that will accompany you through your days — and long, very long, nights?
The answers to this are different for different people, challenges, times of life, and even the day’s energy levels. There’s a lot of grace in just realizing we’re all doing the best we can with what’s handed to us.
But tonight, looking into the face of what has accompanied me for many years and seems likely to accompany me into whatever future I have, I also look into the face of the full moon. Every month, this light of the night shines forth in glory, waning and then waxing again —- much like pain does in its waxing and waning.
What might it be like to accept all of life’s waxings and wanings, to know what might be possible when the light is full glorious, and the different things that are possible when the light is gone — or at least not visible?
When I feel energetic and mostly pain-free I move through my world like a gentle tornado, and often get lots done; when I’m not, I remember that the world is also full of people who suffer from broken bodies and broken hearts, and my heart can fill with more compassion, more love. In either waxing or waning we can serve, and love, with hearts full open, full glorious — a heart moon that I hope can stay open and full, and bring a smile to my spirit as the full moon did tonight. Light of the night, so right, so bright!