Last week, the night sky – at least according to my star app – was supposed to be perfect. Perfect to glimpse Mars, perfect for the shooting meteors coming from Orion.
Looking up, and out at the great mystery of our sky has been a part of my nightly practice during COVID. It started with the howl, but even once people grew tired of acting like pack creatures, I found myself sneaking out for a breath as dark set in. Let the dogs out. Look up. Breathe. Release. Keep going.
Something about seeing how big it all is; how tiny we are. How amazing it is to be alive at all. How even more amazing it is that we manage to make something of our lives, our bodies, our days – even though we are just specks of dust….I mean, star dust. How powerful and powerless we are! A part of everything – the movement of life, and love, and mystery and creation and change; and also, just a part.
The trick is to hold on to this feeling, this sense of the greater arc of history, the surrender into mystery ,and hope – even once I come back inside. To find the movement in life’s everyday moments. And to connect these moments in with the greater movement.
And even more, to hold on to this feeling, even when the app is wrong and the stars and Mars are covered instead by thick smoke pointing less to transcendent wonder than to existential fear, and grief. To trust that just because we can’t see them, doesn’t make them less there.
A few months back, as we were planning our new series that launches this Sunday, we were all too aware of just how vulnerable our moments might feel, how hard it might be to see that larger movement.
In these weeks surrounding the election, as the earth turns, and the light lessens, and as the pandemic powers on, if you’re feeling a little (or a lot) on edge, wondering what it all means, and how to keep going, you’re not alone.
It’s why in these days, we need to find ways to connect with that larger movement of life, and the movement of courageous love passed on generation-to-generation, a movement worthy of our dedication, and loyalty, and stewardship – regardless of the state of any given moment. We need the hope of being for something, rather than just against. We need to turn to wonder, and curiosity, kindness and gratitude.
And together, we need to remember ourselves as a part of this universe (as our reading this Sunday goes: “no outer space, just space”), held by a love that persists, and calls us on.
Whatever the state of your moments, however you are feeling, we hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we lean into all of these practices with a service Rev. Sean and I are co-leading with the amazing and brilliant Scott Denning. Visit the series web page to learn more.
Keep going, keep loving, one breath at a time.