After hours of being awake and restless, my frustration with myself is mounting. My head is spinning with frivolous details of the day; I can't focus on the interesting and important points. Try as I might to press the edges of my awareness outward, the confining bedroom is the limit of my tired imagination.
Maybe I'll try to write something, I think - that usually helps. Opening the channel and letting it flow puts my being to rest. But I feel disconnected. The words don't start and my spirit feels stagnant. I have snippets of something meaningful, I think: yesterday was the day in history that we landed on the moon. I'm pondering what it means to be grounded, how our distance from Earth gave us some courage to walk our planet more humbly. I am wondering how we engage this critical time of environmental crises. But these strands that could become a compelling tapestry are a tangled mess of thought.
Normally, in these dark and quiet spaces, it is easy for me to tune into the blackness beyond and reach a deeper place. Tonight, however, the stars seem silent. Such cloudiness of consciousness feels disconcerting and leaves restful sleep further away.
Suddenly: "Mama." His voice strikes my heart like the ping of a chime, a call to attention. I go. I fumble in the dark until I feel his little arms connect to mine. His head finds its spot on my shoulder and his hands reach around my neck. I rock, rock, rock to the armchair where we reflexively enact the regular ritual of our days. Muscle memory leads us to that still place of mutually-nurturing connection.
Suddenly...there it is. A deep breath - the clouds part - I sense the pinpoints of light in the fog. I can't see, but I feel my son connected to me in the most primal form of comfort between a mother and child. As I sit upright in the chair, roots of intention grow downward from my sacrum. I can feel my alignment returning. My heart pulses with fresher, oxygenated blood. My mind calms as my body responds to my child.
Suddenly, the directive is clear. Is this what the men on the moon felt when they looked back at our home planet? Gazing at Earth from a distance allowed us to see it as it really was and helped us put our lives in context. Holding my son close to the core of my being reminds me what I am here to do. Only such deep, reorienting love can save us from ourselves because it reveals how crucially grounded we are in responsibility to one another. This is the soil on which we must stand.
Suddenly, I see my personal preoccupations as merely human inconveniences to be handled lightly, then graciously let go. When there is such great work to do, who has time to fret that she isn't sleeping? Who cares that my mind was a little wonky tonight? There are far greater horrors and wonders to tend to on this planet.
The task at hand is to move beyond distraction or indifference, beyond fixation or judgment, to the space in which I feel near to the source of things. Sometimes, we can find that in grandiose moments, like watching the first footsteps on a foreign satellite. Sometimes, it finds us in the most common moments of connection. There is no greater awe, no more beautiful grounding.
As I hold my little boy near, I feel I am cradled by our Mother Earth. I sense her wide path around our Sun, Source of Light. My boy and I, all of us, are carried on the journey to Tomorrow, an illusion of dark and light we make real with our belief in its promise. Past the gray clouds of the early morning, the moon spins in its arc toward the new horizon.