“Sometimes the changes that we don’t want are the changes we need to grow.” – Anonymous
It was late December and obstinate winter had settled in. Darkness wrapped itself tightly around my being causing me to want to curl up into a cocoon, and not wake up until spring. 😆 That is… until the evening of December 28 when two lights unexpectedly blazed in the sky overhead and I was completely mesmerized. I had just finished an early dinner with my daughter and grandchildren and as I walked out to my car, I looked up in awe and amazement and saw a glorious sliver of a crescent moon with the most brilliant star hovering nearby.
The different shades of indigo more than pleased my esthetic sense as dusk was getting underway approximately 30 minutes after sunset. Twilight is my favorite time of the day when the most glorious shades of blue imaginable dominate the sky. When I was a young girl and even well into adulthood, I would stop and stare when presented with a glorious scene of dusk. It may be one of the reasons I am obsessed with Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. His inner eye seemed to grasp the greatest profundity of earth and sky bounties, and it must have been a special night too that he saw and captured for all of posterity. In fact, it is said that the brightest star in Van Gogh’s painting is Venus.
The blazing celestial object that I saw in the sky on December 28th was of course Venus. I can’t really convey the vividness of color and the brilliance of both the moon and Venus on that evening. It summed up for me that no matter what, lights continue to shine overhead to inspire and illuminate the way.
In spite of things changing in and all around me, I can count on beautiful astronomical wonders reoccurring. There are inviolable universal laws over which we have no control and which repeat over large amounts of time. Our blood and harvest moons return, as well as the solar and lunar eclipses, and equinoxes and solstices. Another astronomical phenomenon, the Great Year (26,000 years) completes itself and begins anew. It takes 26,000 years for the earth, mimicking a spinning top, to complete one wobble.
The precession of the equinoxes also causes our Pole Stars to change when the earth’s axis points to a different part of the northern sky. Our current pole star is Polaris and is important to navigators because when they spot the star that is at the end of the handle in the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor), they know they are looking north. Sailors and travelers have used the pole star for navigational purposes for eons because of its constant position in the sky. Learn more about Polaris here.
Why am I talking about Venus and the Pole Star? Well, they are comfortable constants (at least in my lifetime) in an existence that delivers up nothing but change and challenge. We won’t see a pole star change until around 4000 AD when Gamma Cephei is expected to displace Polaris as the celestial king. One can’t overestimate how important the pole star was for our ancient ancestors and stargazers. “I am as constant as the northern star,” wrote William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar.
It gives me comfort to think about these repeating cycles of nature and although I’m a very minute part of a grand, gargantuan universe, I too arrive on the scene to shine my light for a brief period of time (and so do you!).
“It is divinity itself that is come to live on earth in the guise of man. We are all rays of light from an eternal sun that is the life of all that exists in the universe and the breath of all that breathes in any part of space.” (Kashmiri philosopher, Gopi Krishna)
Things Have Changed:
The new year found me moved into my daughter’s home, expecting to live there for six months or so. But things have changed! My daughter had a work injury and has been home. She still needed my help as her husband is in Texas starting a new job. Their plan was to sell the house, but rent back from buyers so their 3 children could finish out the school year. Due to a variety of factors and helpful advice from a realtor, it began to dawn on my daughter and her husband that it would be best to try to sell their house in early spring and give their 3 children (ages 13, 7, 6) a chance to meet some school mates in their new home state before the fall. So plans have changed.
Plus, now that my daughter’s husband has found a 3 acre spread (zoned for horses and chickens) that is a perfect fit for them, the stakes have doubled. They’ll need to sell their house sooner rather later. Their guiding beacon has been pointing to a place where they can afford some acreage and have a more country type life. My daughter who was a horsewoman in her younger years will be able to give that life to her children. Things are moving quickly and falling into place as if everything is meant to be.
The sun rises and the sun sets bringing surprises and gifts each and every 24 hours.
What has been my constant all throughout periods of change or uncertainty? What keeps me getting up out of bed optimistic to greet the day and eager to offer my own set of unique contributions to the world? For me, I have to look inside and find something deeper, more stable and permanent than external sturm and drang. It is my faith — faith in something transcendent and greater than myself of which I am a part and which resides in me. I call this something God or Higher Power. It is a constant; my Venus and North Star. And so far I have been taken well care of and made it to 66!
“Today I can accept the changes occurring in my life and live more comfortably with them. I will trust in the God of my understanding, and my fears will diminish. I relax in this knowledge, knowing that I am always taken care of when I listen to my inner voice.” (Courage to Change, p.265)
We may all agree that life is not easy and is replete with loss, heartache and change but sometimes the beauty of the world spreads over us like a deep indigo blue blanket dappled with luminous lights and all we can do is respond with gratitude and devotion.
There will be more chances in the west to see a luminous crescent moon paired with a blazing Venus on February 27, March 28 and April 26, 2020. The beauty I saw on December 28 was startling in its brilliance and clarity and should fortune shine upon us, perhaps we can have a repeat. Keep your eyes peeled heavenward! For updates on what’s going on overhead, check out this site.
So in closing, I would like to share that the changes in my life ever since my Father passed away in 2009 have conspired to catapult me towards positive growth to the degree that I feel I am not the same person I was a decade ago. When a relative recounted past grievances, I responded, “I’m sorry” and added, “I am not that person anymore.” 👏 My Mother is a perfect example of extraordinary growth through painful changes. She is not the person she was – she is kinder and stronger and has surprised everyone with her resilience, humility and zest for life.
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose Wisely.” (Attributed to Karen Kaiser Clark)
God help me, may I always choose growth. 🙂
May change and growth be gentle companions for you, and may you always have a light to guide you up and down the long and winding road.