The One In Which I Owned the Moon

I’ve been putting off writing this first post for over a month, feeling like I don’t know where to start. Each day I’ve grown more anxious to be writing, and with each burst of anxiety, more reluctant to do so.

I guess I’ll start with the stars. That’s where it always starts, with me.

I’ve always been fascinated by the night sky. I remember distinctly driving home from somewhere as a very little girl and staring out the car window at the moon. I was pretty sure it was following us home, and the thought of owning my very own moon filled my tiny little heart with pride. I had a moon! How many other girls could say that? I’d watch it anxiously at every turn to make sure it didn’t get lost, and breathe a sigh of relief when we pulled into the driveway and the moon parked overhead. I felt safe, then, as we said prayers and my parents tucked me into bed, knowing that my moon was parked right above my house, and that it hadn’t wandered off to protect some other little girl. Nope. The moon chose ME, and I guarded it possessively.

Even after I gave up hoarding the moon, the stars remained a nightly source of peace. A clear sky full of stars has always seemed to me like the most precious of conversations—intimate and all-encompassing, at once personal and universal, like the love of my Father. Many such inaudible conversations have ended my nights and sent me to bed feeling cherished, as though the starry vista was a present just for me.

And then, at the most difficult period of my life, I moved to the place where the stars lived, and the real conversations began. Night after night, I’d send my husband off to work and take the dog out, close my eyes to everything but my nightly gift from Father, and soak up the sparkly peace, only to be reminded an hour later by the nudge of a wet nose that it was bedtime and the stars would be there again the next evening. I lay out on the grass summer evenings, tracking shooting stars until I lost count, and feeling like the girl who had once owned the moon: cherished.

Some nights, I yelled at the stars, and at Father. I closed my eyes to their brilliance and buried my face in pillows, too heartsick to bear their beauty. But always, the stars, and their Creator, came out the next night and welcomed me back, too pure and selfless to mention my hurtful words. Instead, they shone even more brilliantly than before, engulfing the darkness and lighting my way. They came back each night, comforting and healing through every one of life’s bumps. They shone more brilliantly than ever before on the night my Kenna was born, and I became dependent on their glow.

Then came the night when I had to leave the place where the stars live. It was December, and bitter cold. Snow fell, but not softly, and the stars seemed to hide. I packed my belongings, tied down the tarp, and looked around, saying one last goodbye to my home, regretting the absence of my twinkling comforters. Then, just as I was about to climb into the truck, the snow stopped and the sky cleared, and my stars came out in full splendor.

I stood in the snow, neck craned and tears streaming, studying them for as long as I could stand the cold, and it seemed that each one was a message from Father. One said “I love you,” one said “be strong,” one said “remember Me,” and another still said “I’ll help you in all things.” And my favorite? “Fear not, little child. For you are mine.” I don’t know if it’s possible to feel anything but peace and strength while stargazing, even in life’s darkest moments. If I could have sent up my own star it would have said, “I love You too, Father.”

As the tears froze to my cheeks, I said my last goodbye to my home, to the stars, to what had been my life, and drove towards the future. Imagine my surprise when I parked the truck and noticed that the stars had followed me home.

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8 thoughts on “The One In Which I Owned the Moon

  1. Very beautiful. You have always had a way with words, and your talent shows. I have always loved the stars as well, but always felt they were our ancestors watching over us. Never did this have more meaning then when Grandpa joined the ranks of the stars. I, like you, cherish the clear night sky. I love you, sister!

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  2. And my favorite? “Fear not, little child. For you are mine.”

    This made me cry. (Happy tears.) You write really well, and I feel your words. The stars have this effect on me too. It’s easy to forget sometimes, how loved we are. I’m glad you have found something to remind you.

    (Also, I have depression and anxiety, and I recognise so many of your thoughts in this blog. Especially not being able to trust your own feelings. Allt the cognitive therapy, teaching us to questions our thoughts critically, will do that. Most of the time it’s good, but not when we stop being able to just FEEL. I’m not bipolar, so I can’t know exactly what you’re talking about, but to some extent. Hang in there. It gets better. And you’ve made my day better today! A stranger on the other side of the world.)

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    1. Thank you so much, dreamingwriter, for your comment, and for reading. I’m glad you found my blog, and that it speaks to you.

      It sounds like your experience with cognitive therapy is exactly like mine, no matter whether it’s for depression and anxiety or bipolar… and you put it beautifully. I do want to be able to just FEEL again.

      I’m so glad I could make your day better! And that we’re no longer strangers! 🙂

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