High clouds blow across the stars tonight as I stand on my little patio and say goodnight to the world before I go to bed. The winds aren’t as bad yet as they had predicted earlier, the cold weather front is still too far to the north to be creating problems in my little town. Snow and frigid air are on the way after a day where the temperatures reached the low 60’s. My car thermometer said it was 50 degrees when I pulled into the garage, unusual for both the late hour and this time of year. Christmas lights twinkle brightly on the houses across the subdivision from me, waiting for the hour their timers turn the two houses to darkness.
I was in New York in November for the wedding party of my nephew, Bill, and his new legal husband, Chuck. I was fortunate enough to have been at their civil union in Vermont six years ago, too. I just love these men. Looking in from the outside, they seem to have such a respectful and loving relationship. Sometimes it makes me wish my own marriage could have had more of the elements I see in theirs.
Bill’s mother, my ex-sister-in-law, has a serious new relationship now. My daughter and I flew in for the weekend to attend the party, and stayed with her. The view of the Hudson River from her 12th floor apartment is always stunning. At the party I got to see and talk to lots of people I haven’t seen for years. I felt such a sense of home and celebration. The many fabulous Thanksgiving feasts we all spent there floated through my mind. It stirred up difficult feelings, too.
It made me miss my brother. December is a month my family members seem to choose to go to heaven, including Jim. His death was a long time ago now, but every once in a while standing in the apartment that was his home, being with his family, celebrating an event he would have been so proud to attend, I feel his absence.
I got to spend two days with my daughter, too. That hasn’t happened for a long time, since she is 27 now. Last week I got to be at her house for Thanksgiving. She lives with her boyfriend, a very handsome, nice guy, and his family. I can see why she likes it so, the sense of being part of such a young and vibrant group of people was palpable to me in ways it hasn’t been before.
My son, her brother, now 22, was there, too. My children are wonderful people. I am so proud of who they have become. But they aren’t children anymore. Each has moved on to a life I don’t share very intimately anymore. This holiday has become, for this year anyway, bittersweet.
Last night I attended a new moon healing circle ceremony with a bunch of other women, among them two friends. We celebrated and invited in the Virgin of Guadalupe, asking for miracles of change and healing in our lives over the next moon cycle. I left feeling full of warmth and gratitude and love that my life has brought me to a place where this kind of thing happens often. I have created a new world for myself, too. On this level things are getting better and deeper. I see a path it is exciting to follow. The miracle I asked for was that my awakening, both to who I am and how I can be of larger service to the world, would grow. I can sense it happening.
As I looked up into the dark sky at the twinkling stars in the clear spot almost directly overhead, I felt such a connection to God and, at the same time, to the beauty of my infinitesimal and oh-so-human existence. Time moves on. Children grow up. People you love die. Nothing remains stationary.
The best part, really, is that there is always something new to look forward to. Over the course of even a few minutes the view of the stars changes and is obscured by thin clouds. The lights blink off across the street. I turn to go back in my house, and in my heart, all is well.