January’s Moon

IMG_2213

Moon Date: January 4, 2015

Dinner: Clementine, Fennel, & Quinoa Salad

Love Feast: Cardamom Bun drizzled with honey, Divine Dark Chocolate with Fruit and Nuts, Ginger Tea

Soundtrack: silence

In celebration of the first Full Moon of the year 2015 I went for a walk in the woods. In the daylight the deep snow illumined the dark browns of the naked branches and the strong, heavy wind forced the trees into conversation.

This year it is my hope to acknowledge each full moon, celebrating in whatever means seem fit for the given month. A dear friend of mine introduced me to the idea and her presence will be with me in these celebrations whenever schedules allow. The cycles of the moon offer a chance to notice the pattern of things, the waxing and waning of not only the moon herself, but of my own heart, mind and spirit, God’s creation around me, and so importantly, God’s voice. The moon has a lot to tell us. She informs us of the weather and shares knowledge with the farmers who so intently pay attention to the earth. She tells us about womanhood, shares insight about her brother, sun, and reminds us of how God illuminates so many wonderful things in the dark that we most often run from. God created her with purpose, and with her help, we might discover a little more of who God is.

This first full moon I spent alone. In silence.

As the moon rose, January’s moon, it was dark, windy, cloudy. To start the new year, my intent on this first celebration was to be quiet, to welcome silence, to create space for God’s voice to be heard.

I stepped into my own wilderness after walking in the woods, after finally turning off the music, closing my laptop, and after finally shutting the door to my bedroom. It took me all day to bring myself to do this. The only sound I could hear was the muffled roar of the wind in the trees outside and the thin, wooden candle wick burning next to me. I sat down on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, and in an instant my tears flowed like heavy rain down an eaves trough. Welcome, moon. Welcome, God.

This is what we try so hard to avoid. We keep ourselves, our bodies and minds, busy. We fill the quiet spaces with podcasts airing other people’s stories. We turn the music up a little louder, turn on the television as soon as we get home just to fill the quiet spaces. We do anything to keep from being along with our thoughts. And there is good reason for that. It’s lonely. It’s painful. It’s ugly. In the silence, we are forced to confront our feelings, the emotions that have worked to hard to cover up with ambient noise. I know this all too well. If I keep moving, just fast enough, I have no time to notice what is stirring inside. If I pencil just enough events in my calendar, attend just enough social affairs, my attention can be directed to others, asking THEM the question “How are you?” and skirt over the answer when the inquiry is returned to me. I respond with, “I’m good”, change the subject, inflect cheer in my voice. I know better.

Unfortunately, what I think I (we) need most is to welcome the silence. The more we run from the quiet, the more clanging cymbals and gongs we fill our lives with, the less we invite healing. Silence is scary. It asks us to be vulnerable, to be alone with ourselves, our own worst enemy. But, should we muster up the courage to enter silence, enter our own wilderness, we find that no matter what kind of ugly cry it might induce, we are not alone. God waits for us in those moments. God is already in the silence, ready to receive us as we are, and ready to speak in a voice that may be so quiet it demands the dreaded silence. God offers healing in silence. I dare you to enter it.

Note to Self

Self, 

You should probably do something (maybe set an alarm, write a note, etc) to help remind you that you have a sweet potato in the oven baking for tomorrow’s lunch. I know that you really got into that movie (the Help, for the record) and you weren’t thinking about lunch for the next day. You’re really lucky that the house didn’t burn down. You’re lucky that instead of smelling like ashes and smoke, the house smelled of sweet, delicious, orange potato. Way to leave the oven on all night. This is not like you. I will excuse it this time. 

Sincerely yours, 

Self aka ELS

A weekend at home

Weekends at home remind me of where I came from. They remind me where I might want to end up again someday. They remind me that some of my favorite things to do are some of the most simple things: eat dinner with my parents at the dining table we’ve had since I can remember, have a sleepover with my best friend, visit the local watering hole and be greeted by old friends and acquaintances. Home is a constant for me, something I can rely on. Something that I can count on to stay generally the same while all else around me changes and moves and swirls. I can count on the newest issue of Better Homes and Gardens to be sitting on the coffee table in the living room. I can count on the blankets and pillows on my bed at home to be perfectly soft and just the right amount of fluffy to feel surrounded and cuddled and safe. I can count on my favorite kind of tea to be in the tea cupboard because my parents know it’s my favorite and they take care of me far too well.

I am incredibly blessed.

When life gives you beets…

…make Chocolate Beet Cake. And put some Blood Orange Cream Cheese frosting on it while you’re at it. A recent, anxiety-inducing, unexpected event has taken place in my life and this cake was the product of one of my more emotionally stressful days. I found it therapeutic, baking that cake. Therapy for the senses. Listening to the subtle sizzling of the beets roasting in the oven, the smell of cocoa powder sifted into the mixture of dry ingredients, the gorgeous deep red hue of the batter. Sometimes the best thing to do when you don’t know what else to do is corral all the energies you have floating about you and pour it into one task. You might make a cake that ends up leaving you with morsels of time and taste. Morsels packed with earth and sweet nourishment and gratitude. Grab a fork.

A White Christmas

I’d love a little snowfall before the big day. Just enough to make it feel cozy and warm inside. Enough to make the world seem still and quiet when you walk out your front door. Enough that when you listen hard enough you can almost hear each snowflake gently settle onto the ground. 

I am ready for my oversized sweater and fleece lined boots. 

…still…

Let the fizz settle. Let it settle ’til all that’s left are a few tiny bubbles, floating on the surface of your golden tinted portion.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden, light”, He spoke with such eloquence.

The colors of fall burn on.