No invitation was needed to draw me from the confines of our old farmhouse during the couple hours before the May morning’s sun would light another day on our ridge. The brightness already there, reflected from the full Flower Moon, cast a spotlight across the countryside that was too appealing to ignore.
I followed the moonlight into the farmyard that morning, the moon already making its slow fall to the west horizon to allow the sun its own splendor on the opposite horizon. The moon and I stared at each other with hypnotic eyes through the light wedding veil cloud-wisps between us.
There was a connection between us that spanned all decades of my life’s many seasons. Right then, we were the long-married couple at a comforting dinner, reading each other through candlelight. We were the couple who’d come to finish each other’s sentences and even know each other’s thoughts; each other’s weakness; each other’s strengths; each other’s habits.
We breathed together, the moon and I, in a gentle visual embrace.
The decades had been long, and we had questions plenty in hopes of learning even more about each other.
The moon asked why I hadn’t arrived sooner to gaze into its beauty and fawn over its splendor.
I asked the moon why more people weren’t turning back to the land’s comfort during troubling times.
The moon asked why I wasn’t caring more for the countryside we were borrowing from the spirit.
I asked the moon if she could help with weather to bless the soil with great fertility and the waters with blessed pureness.
The moon asked what drew me to this land so sacred that even the glaciers left it untouched.
The horizon pulled more quickly at the moon, its light softening from the whiteness of higher altitude and into a gentle amber.
I asked it to not leave yet, beckoning as I has so many more questions for the moon and it hadn’t answered any – just as the moon must still have so many more questions for me and I hadn’t answered any.
That night’s full Flower Moon was giving into the restful allure offered on the horizon’s bed; I was left standing in the farmyard to consider all the questions asked and unasked, and of all the answers still left unknown.
So many questions of me.
So many questions of love.
So many questions of life.
So many questions of nature.
So many questions of spirit.
So many questions….
I wanted to know that the joys I know in connecting with this land will continue to bring joy and understanding.
But the moon kept drifting toward its resting place.
I remembered, then, how a middle-aged fellow had been running 26.2 miles the previous Saturday — the distance he’d have been running had a marathon he’d been training to run that day not been canceled. Some folks asked the fellow’s father-in-law why the guy still would go ahead and run that distance despite the marathon’s cancellation.
“If you have to ask, I doubt you’d understand the answer,” answered the old father-in-law, himself literally and figuratively the veteran of many marathons.
As with that father-in-law’s insight, it occurred to me that the questions I sought from the moon weren’t for the moon to answer, but for me to answer; perhaps the moon’s questions also were my own and only for me to answer.
Truths being sought that morning dwelled only within my spirit. I’d sought answers in the moon, until then not remembering that the moon’s very glow only is a reflection of light shining from the sun. The answers were, and will continue to be, here with me on this place of ridges and coulees. And, because I’m of the soil, the answers will be here in this wonderful dirt.
I am my own questions and answers.
The soil is my own question and answers.
I blinked away the final hints of light from the moon now slumbered on that horizon. I’d found so many answers in it, but not as I expected. I’d rest easily the next evening, knowing the full Flower Moon would greet me that night and leave me to know the answers to so many of my own questions: those the answers reflected by the moon.
The full moon, as it always does, would fade into darkness during coming nights, the cycle of lightness and darkness we all find in our own places. Blessed are those who know their own light is here on the land – for me, on this little farm’s ridge. It’s knowing place, and knowing place is knowing self.
— Scott Schultz