I almost didn’t go outside last night. It’s been a hard week. Hard, that is, in the way finally getting to engage in full-time passion work and being completely overwhelmed with deadlines of your own making and working sixteen-hour days and loving every minute of it, albeit in a sleep-deprived, near-delirious way, that is. The good kind of hard. But just ‘cause it’s good doesn’t mean it’s not also exhausting. I had three choices. I could keep working; there’s still so much to do. I could go to bed early, a tempting choice given how little I’ve been sleeping lately. Or I could neglect both my work and my rest and instead wander outside onto the deck to stare at the sky for a while - which seemed the least responsible choice. I tried to work; I really did. My mind, however, exhausted, distracted and spent, failed to cooperate. I was done. So I slid my bare feet into my slippers and stepped outside onto the back deck, with only pajama pants and a t-shirt against the cold night air.
I turned toward the east and looked up at her, nestled among the bare branches of her cottonwood tree, carnelian with shadow as the lunar eclipse neared totality.
“Hello,” I said, my voice loud and abrupt amidst the white noise of night. She winked down at me.
I took deep, slow breaths, pulling the cold air into my lungs, drinking it like water as I watched her. Her light wasn’t so bright as it was ethereal; an infusion from within, looking every bit like the Himalayan salt lamp I always leave aglow in my office. Self-contained and smoldering.
Closing my eyes, I turned my face toward her and tried to imagine the strength of her, rocking the very oceans with her breath. I tried to feel that same strength in myself, the kind that’s ancient and primal. Placing my hand on my heart, I felt her, pulsing in and around and through me, a whispered reminder that we are made of the same stuff, she and I.
Her glow wrapped itself around me like a blanket, and I surrendered to the magic, the wonder. I could feel bits and pieces of myself - the parts that no longer served me - gather in my rib cage and break free into the night through my heart, a bundle of butterflies rising up against the backdrop of the starry sky, floating away with my breath. Let go, she whispered as they ascended, and I did.
She grew more and more red by the minute - a Blood Moon. I thought of perseverance, heartbreak, survival. How odd that we attribute pain to weakness. It takes strength to bleed. Looking into the past, I saw myself, hands crossed over my chest. When I pulled them away, my palms were covered in red, rich and visceral. Only the heart that is capable of bleeding can also know love.
I felt like a woman. I felt like a warrior. I felt like a she-wolf. I wanted to sink my teeth into the night, drinking every last drop, savage and unashamed. I survive. It’s what I do. Then, now, and always.
In that moment, I felt her power fully, and I knew the truth. The moon is a womb, ripe and ready, growing and giving. She is animal. She is ancestral. She is raw. She is wild. The blood on her face is the same blood that flows through my veins, the same blood that has spilled from my body and my heart, puddles of myself on the ground. I understood this in a blink. No - I remembered. I’ve always known, from some deep, ancient place within. Cellular memory, from those who came before me, those who have seen war and famine, water and flame. They knew it, too; she never left their side, and they etched their memories into my blood, so that I would take comfort beneath the same moon.
“Thank you,” I said to her, hands clasped together in supplication. “Thank you.” For calling me to her so strongly. For bringing me back to my power. For making me remember. For helping me understand how vitally, viscerally connected we are, she and I. No matter how adrift I may feel, the umbilicus will always lead me straight back to her.
“You’re welcome,” she whispered.
Or maybe it was just the wind.