Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wandering: Waiting on Ice.

Waiting on the Ice.
Waiting on the Ice.

Twilight. March 13, 2013. 

I am waiting on Ice. Braced against the bitter winds by the grace of a White Spruce (Picea glauca), I am waiting for the Comet to present its glitter beneath the Moon. Some people find waiting easier using the steep, icy sheets of Earth as their personal noctilucent luge course. I do not.


Until now, I entirely missed the gravity of the message, the omen presented to us when we returned the offering platter to the kitchen. The Waiting Moon left Her mark, as if to say, "Oh, yes. You will wait." Her sigil, a slow chemical reaction of elements, ingredients & sentiments, now resides above the stove: a constant reminder that we are waiting.

And I am beginning to think that all this waiting is not so much about the end result, the goal or destiny, but rather the process of waiting itself. What do we learn from this?

Sigil of the Waiting Moon, revisited.
Sigil of the Waiting Moon, revisited.

There is something about this waiting that makes me feel a little bit of insanity, a Berzerker agitation, like a steer in the chute or a racehorse at the gate. I want to run -- charging into the Sunlight, shedding the layers upon layers of clothing. Snow bibs off. Down parka off. Pillbox hat off. Smartwool socks off. 

I want don my faithful, ten-year-old sandals & dive into loamy duff, filling my nostrils with its rich earthy aroma. I want to see Bluebells (Mertensia paniculata var. alaskana) erupting from their sepals -- a signal, a sign that now we may doggedly hunt for the elusive Black Morels (Morchella elata). When we find them, I want to rejoice with my tribe, the trees, the Spirits of the Land, anyone, everyone who cares to join us.

Instead, I imagine the shimmery High Desert heat rising off the rocks -- stacks upon stacks of hot rocks, lizard tenements. I imagine a tiny sliver of black sand beach in Dominica -- oh, to return there now. I imagine the Sun high above, warming deck chairs on an ocean liner filled with quiet, slow-moving passengers -- just like the ship that ushered me into what is now my present.

Instead, in the tension of the here & now, I borrow the High Priest's sanctuary & desperately, frantically spin, raising energy so I might release it. Dance practice & exercise: I find that they are no longer enough. Panting, sweaty, legs curled under, arms prostrate, forehead pressed to the cool, smooth bamboo floor, I cast it to the Earth -- please, please take it. For the love of Mabel, take it. I do this so I do not kill anyone in the waiting. From this act of reckless magick, I gain temporary relief. But it also makes me feel a bit... well, mad. As in Hatter.

Bohemian Waxwings 
(B. garrulus) waiting.
Yet, I only need to look out the windows to see that I am in good company. Those Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) are also waiting. As they feverishly flit & flock by the hundreds, it seems to me that they are equally as restless. They shift en masse from tree to tree & back again. 'Round & 'round they go, sometimes all day, as if in search of something just around the corner. Perhaps they are looking for signposts to a new season. Perhaps they are waiting for some of the very same things as me. Like Spring.

But, I find I am also waiting peevishly for any single ounce of time to write. My heart tells me I must. My life says, "Wait."

I am waiting to master, or even minor, a dance I just met. I want it to feel natural, today. My body & mind say, "No. Practice... & wait."

I am waiting to learn & know all these Alaskan birds which, obscured by thick foliage, can never be seen in the green months. I want to recognize them now, while I can, but the daily obligations say, "Wait."

The same principle applies to Aurora Borealis stalking & the pile of books at the bedside, the emails & letters (which will likely never be written), the community lending library I spearheaded (Gah, what was I thinking?), the painting that begs to be completed throughout the house, the flying ointment, reorganizing the kitchen, the Bovini celebratory project I began months ago, the backing up of data, the "Winter Queen's Necklace" I began stringing, hanging all those mirrors (good grief! so many! narcissism?), the mobile Moon Shrine... 

I am also waiting for the-cat-who-was-left-behind to gain back some of the four pounds she has lost. Which brings me to the lesson of all this waiting. Or at least one lesson.

Sleeping Lady, ever waiting.  Some are infinitely patient. Others, not so much.
Sleeping Lady, ever waiting.
Some are infinitely patient. Others, not so much.

If we spend all our time waiting, wanting, yearning, braced for something which is not now, but down the road a little ways, or possibly a long ways, what do we overlook in the present? There is that adage, something akin to, "Don't squander your time living in the past..." But how about the future? Do we squander our present by living for future expectations? Waiting for vacation. Waiting until we think we have the money. Waiting for better weather, better circumstances, better odds. Waiting until the house is clean, or the laundry is done (which by nature, can never, ever be done). Waiting for a convenient time. Waiting for a new day. 

I recognize that I must love, relish, cherish what I have, right now. I cannot live in the Land of Expectations. Love the demanding kids. Now. Love the gentle partner. Now. Love the skeleton-cat. Now. Love this frozen Place. Now. Love this precious & beautiful Life. Now. There is a feast in the waiting. Wait. Pause. Be. 

It is ok to wait, but be-present.

Be in the waiting. There is a feast!


In the waiting for the comet, I am joined by a very special friend, a meow-friend. Sun-tanned & radiant, she tells me about her wedding. On a beach. In the Sunshine. In Love. It is good to hear her story & to feel all the warmth she brought back with her. 

Later, we climb two flights of clanging, frozen, steel stairs to join our boys on the wide, wind-swept rooftop of the park building. We gaze over the ocean & wait for the comet alongside a professional photographer wielding a camera as large as a cannon. He tells us about being a landscape photographer in Alaska. He talks about all the waiting, waiting for expectations which frequently never materialize. Luscious waiting. The comet never presents itself, but the frosty, sled-crazed children are so happy. We are all so happy & what the Universe offered us in all that waiting was much, much more than what I was waiting for.

The feast of waiting.
The feast of waiting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this perfectly timed mesmeric tale. I've been going too fast lately and manifesting too little patience. This is a pleasant reminder that I need get back to the basics of living in the moment.

Moma Fauna said...

I think there is a special tension with writing too, I am sure you know. For me, it winds up tight like a spring & if I can't get it out, it brings out the worst in me. I am afraid I will forget things, I always tell myself, "You really need to consider a dictaphone!" (Ha! Does anyone use those anymore?) There was a catharsis of nearly epic proportions when I finally was able to finish this. At 1:00 am. The only time I available. I had to wait for it. ;)

Heather said...

I think the cycle of the seasons itself provides a good lesson in waiting and patience. We can long for summer as much as we like during the winter months, but it won't make summer come any faster and we'll just end up missing out on what treasures are to be found in the current season. Thank you as well for this reminder. I think I have been spending a bit too much time lately living for my future expectations rather than for my present. My present may not be entirely satisfactory, but there are still things in it that are worthy of my attention and gratitude.

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