‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
~Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
I am writing this under the light of the Super Snow Moon–the biggest full moon of 2019. It is much like the sun this time of year–able to illuminate that which isn’t often seen or hasn’t been noticed in a long time (hello window sills! You need to be dusted). It also has a slightly stronger effect on things like the tide. If any of you have seeds sown for transplants (or maybe crops already in the ground if you are in the south or southern hemisphere), you may see a little bump in foliage growth during the few days before the full moon and root growth afterward. I’m going to keep a jar of water on one of those dusty window sills tonight to get charged by the moon! Not sure what I’ll do with it…most likely uses: I will drink it, Opal will drink it and then spill it, Fern will spill it, I will water houseplants with it. All worthy causes.
You may or may not believe that the phases of the moon affect people, but as a woman in tune with the moon and my body, I have to say that I strongly believe that I am affected by it! Just as the waters in our great oceans is pulled and sloshed up and down coastlines, at once on shore and then brought back out into the depths, I, too have felt particularly stretched and pulled over the last week. It mellowed out as we approached the brief stagnancy of reaching its peak fullness, but I had a few tumultuous days in there! Just as this Super Snow Moon lights up the night sky and beckons us to better see what is normally shrouded in dark, so does it force us to look at what comes to the surface when we are pulled, churned and stretched.
This is something many of you have come to realize and even relish in yourselves, but it is kind of a new feeling for me. I’m solidly in my mid-thirties, now, and I’m finally realizing that I wear many hats–some of which cannot really be worn at the same time; they clash horribly. There are so many versions of us out there in the world at any given moment–mothers, partners, workmates, confidantes, friends, farmers, humans (to our animal friends), wives, cooks, nurses, private drivers, maids, entrepreneurs…the list goes on!
An ice breaker activity for a class I attended once asked the simple question, “Who are you?” We were asked to list some words and create a visual representation of who we were. Almost everyone used the kinds of descriptive nouns I used above–Mom, daughter, skier, farmer, teacher, environmentalist, student, omnivore. These are labels, but are they actually us? Who are we under all of those labels? Are we anything without how others perceive us? Obviously we are, to my mother I am a more than a daughter…at least I assume because I have my own daughters who I know are far more than a daughter (although that is a wonderful thing to be). I know that they are love incarnate. I know that they are light and joy and creation. I guess we are all the same, but we’ve seen quite a few more moons than those little ones. It’s harder to see who is under all of those labels as they begin to pile on. And while the labels can help define the person underneath, they cannot quite reach the essence of the person. So, that is who I am trying to tap into this month–will the real Alex please stand up?
For the most part, I love all of my labels! It is great to be needed as a mother, to be enjoyed as a friend, to be loved as a wife. However, when those parts are being pulled in different directions, I need a base to hold the center in place. I need to remind myself (or be reminded) not to go following some labels too far without some personal check in time. I’m still not totally certain about who that hidden me is, but I’m sure she rears her head sometimes and will continue to grow.
We were very fortunate to go to Hawaii for a couple of weeks between my last post and this one. We stayed in Honolulu for a couple of days before island hopping to Kauai for a week of camping and a few days of vacation rental living. Perhaps it was the waning moon, or perhaps it was an island vacation, or perhaps it was time with my family; but I saw a lot of myself–especially in those early mornings and post dinner evenings staring out at the vast ocean, worry free, cuddling with or watching the kids enjoy their freedom. There is a clarity that comes with salt water, early bed times, sleeping close to nature, and chickens, lots and lots of chickens. Maybe that’s it–mother might be the most authentically “me” label right now, my family is my priority!
I hope some of you have found your true selves and the essence of you comes freely out under your many labels! Perhaps you feel most you bathed in the light of the moon!
Until next time, keep on being you!
Sending peace and love from Alaska,
Alex, the Rural Farmgirl