This post is dedicated to my dad on his birthday.
Thank you for teaching me about the wondrous world of the Cosmos.
When I was a kid, my dad would sometimes take us up on the roof to look at the stars and moon through his telescope. Our roof was flat, covered in gravely rocks, and accessible only by a metal extension ladder my dad used for his job as a house-painter. It was terrifying getting up there. I was scared to death of heights, but I knew that my dad was at the top, and so was a big roof (big enough to stay pretty far from the edges) and a great big Texas sky full of stars.
Also awaiting me on those nights were the lessons my dad taught about the cosmos. An amateur astronomer, with the telescope to prove it, he seemed to know every constellation, every planet, and the answers to all of my seemingly unanswerable questions.
I’m now married to an amateur astronomer, whose prize possession is the pair of stargazing binoculars I bought him a few years ago. He seems to have the same uncanny ability as my father to answer even my most complex questions about the universe– maybe not too surprising considering that he was a member of his high school astronomy club and that he spends a lot of his down time reading about the universe, and somehow, retaining most of what he reads! It goes like this: I ask him questions (usually feeling pretty proud of myself for having such an impressive grasp of the basic knowledge of astronomy, which is really very, very basic and not actually that impressive!) and then- without fail- he answers my questions, usually kind of blowing my mind and making me feel simple, but also making me fall even deeper into nerdy smit with him. I love these impromptu science lessons. They remind me of nights on the roof with my dad and make me wonder at the marvelous cosmic design that has brought this gentle, humble, and wise energy into my life time and time again in the form of many great masculine teachers.
Last night as I sat under a perfectly wonderful and wonderfully perfect moon, I thought how strange it is to live in a time when we no longer really question the story or role of the moon.
We accept as fact that it is a piece of rock that has been drawn into our planet’s gravitational pull. We accept that it appears as an orb of varying degrees of light in the sky each night, ever changing its shape because of a trick of shadow and perspective. We even accept (at least in part) that this moon has its own pull on us– a force is most clearly seen in the changing of our ocean tides and sometimes in the increase of lunacy among people that occurs monthly on the night of the full moon and which often ends up overcrowding hospital emergency rooms.
But we seldom take time to wonder about the bigger reason behind it’s presence, the deeper ways in which it influences us, or how and why we continue to sync our own human rhythms with it. We seldom give the moon the gift of wonder it deserves.
Not very long ago, the moon was an object of incredible wonder. What is it? Why is it there? What effect does it have on us? Let us pay tribute to it. And just, Wow.
I sat and wondered about wonder, and how wonder is much a part of spiritual teachings far and wide. Little can bring a person closer to a sense of the divine than a pure sense of wonder at the world. We can learn so much about this from children- enlightened little beings that spend a huge part of their time just wondering, being in awe, and purely enjoying each moment.
Wonder brings connection. If you want a doorway into feeling more connected with something greater, with the world around you, with your own unique spirit, practice having a sense of wonder.
Sitting and wondering is a rewarding and accessible form of meditation. Lie on a blanket, look up at the sky and wonder at the clouds. Take a closer look at the microcosm beneath your feet in the grass and wonder about all of the busy life there.
You can even have a wondering meditation this weekend as you look up at the moon. Wonder at its greatness and beauty. Wonder at its mystery. Wonder at the phenomenon that the tides will shift even further out during this weekend’s super moon, revealing hidden treasures that have been buried in water and mystery for who knows how long. Wonder that it’s the same moon that Shakespeare and Galileo looked at. Just wonder. 🙂
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo