I went looking for the Harvest Moon at the autumnal equinox last night. Through my window the sky held promise of a full moon, but when I stepped into the wee hours, low clouds were reflecting the glare of corner streetlights not moon-shine. It is cold and wet where I am, and lonely dark. I live 150 miles from my family and I commute every few days or so as all our schedules allow. It is the sacrifice for having a job, which in this day and age, is a valuable commodity. I don’t mind it so much except on the days of lonely dark.
In this hemisphere, we move toward the time when darkness consumes an increasingly greater proportion of each day. I find renewal in change, so the autumn season is always sacred to me. When it comes on gradually with the slow-motion of deepening colors and crisping air, I hear my heart savoring the determination of God’s movement like the crunch of a honeycrisp apple. On days when winter ice blasts through my thin skin, I hold myself tighter across the shoulders and shudder through all the encounters of my day like a bear seeking to hibernate.
It is a 2 forward 1 back approach that I’m afraid is characteristic of much that is uniquely me. When I get my own way, moving forward is effortless and carefree. Daily world events flow smoothly and peace is the order of things. On the 1 back days, it’s a different story. Cranky and snarly are two more apropos adjectives. My only salvation is that when the math is done, I’m still 1 forward.
Such is the ebb and flow of the spiritual life and this prodigal daughter. To move 2 forward is to intentionally step away from this one spot that is safe and secure. Should I? Probably. I will return with a 1 back at some point, whether by choice or circumstance. But it is no matter as long as I continue the momentum.