It’s a clear, warm night, breezy and calm with a languorous quality to the air. A night for strolling arm in arm along the surging beach; a night for hiking to the top of the mountain to gaze out at the moonlit landscape below.
It’s a blue moon night, the second full moon of the month–a rare occurrence, like a leap year, that feels like a gift of cosmic significance.
Such a night makes me want to take a chance and send out into the world some ideas that I have been holding close, not daring to share for fear of—of what? Being scoffed at or ignored, I suppose.
But once in a blue moon, it’s important to reach beyond those fears and write from the heart.
So here it is.
On this quiet, moonlit night, I am thinking about death.
Every near-death experience describes a peaceful opening up to the light in the seconds after death—a state of rapture, a sense of leaving the body with all its frailties behind and moving into a new state of consciousness.
If death is just a transition into a different relation to matter and spiritual consciousness, then it is not something to be afraid of. It is a change, but not a negative one, except to the extent that we remain attached to those we love and our dear, familiar places.
No other being on the planet frets so over death as does humankind. All others simply pass, unworried, into the next stage of existence, whatever it may be.
If there is no reason to fear or worry about our individual deaths, then maybe there is no reason to fear or worry about the coming planetary cataclysm.
All of us living beings on the planet now will simply transition into whatever comes next, as we have many many times before in our cosmic journey from stardust to our current terrestrial physical forms.
Even the fear that we have of destroying our planet to such an extent that it will become unlivable is not tenable. I don’t believe we could do such a thorough job of destruction as to make the environment completely and irrevocably toxic.
It may take millennia, but eventually, as it has in the past, the Earth will regenerate and give birth to new life forms.
And we, because we are part and parcel of this ecological sphere, will be part of those too.
Just as now we “remember” our past as sea creatures through the saltiness of our blood and the way we are able to swim underwater in our mother’s wombs, we will in some way retain the traces of our time as humans on the planet.
Hopefully the traits that have proven so destructive and psychotic will not persist: our violence, our fears and insecurities, our short-sightedness, our competitiveness, our greed.
It is possible that we are now living through a blue moon period of a much greater magnitude than just one lunar cycle.
Once in a blue moon, a dominant species—like the dinosaurs—collapses. It is our fortune, for better or worse, to be living through this rare epoch, the last days of a closing era—and unlike the dinosaurs, to be conscious of what is taking place as it happens.
Of course, once in a blue moon, too, a species is able to pull back from the brink of extinction and keep going a while longer.
On this blue moon evening, I pay loving homage to the white hydrangeas glowing in the dusky interlude between sunset and moonrise. The perky round sunflowers, the curly purple kale standing stiff and tall in my garden, the pulsing background chorus of crickets—I gather them round in a loving embrace and give thanks for this quiet blue moment, however long it may last.