Blessings of the Night

by Elizabeth Cunningham

I have written here before about my love affair with dawn, my tracking of sunrise as it rolls along the horizon from north to south and now back again, almost midway on its journey to summer solstice. I have also written about the construction noise (now on two sides) that goes on for almost twelve hours every day. I have borrowed good headphones and spend much of the day listening random shuffle and ocean waves.

Yesterday the noise was so loud I wore the headphones on a walk in the woods. Very strange not to be listening to wind and birds. I also walked the labyrinth and in the center (where I listen for messages) Maria Muldaur sang an old field holler. Here are some of the words that stayed with me: “It’s a blessing just to call my savior’s name. It’s a blessing just to be alive. It’s a blessing to be on the land. If my heart is breaking, I take it as my portion. It’s a blessing just to call my savior’s name.”

Random shuffle, ocean waves and earphones have been a blessing. And I have found another blessing: stepping outside every night on the fire escape near my bedroom. If the night is particularly warm and inviting, I might go down the stairs and find a place to sit. But even a few moments of night’s stillness and the sounds in that stillness restore me. The construction noise has ceased. Traffic is less frequent and farther away. The last two nights I’ve heard spring peepers.

Spring has come unseasonably early this year after a negligible winter. The aconites have already gone by, and the daffodils are about to bloom. Yesterday I asked a client if she’d like to walk during our session as we sometimes do when the weather is warm. “It’s nice out,” she said, “but it’s creepy nice. It’s not supposed to be this warm yet.” In addition, though it was almost sunset, the machines were still going full tilt. So we stayed in.

Though there are still people in denial, sadly some of them with disproportionate political and economic power, most of us know that we are experiencing what I call global weirdness, because overall global warming doesn’t always mean it’s warmer in any one location. Last winter, for example, we had more snow than usual. More heat means more storms, as witness the recent devastation by tornados in the South and Midwest.

Last night the waning moon hadn’t risen yet. The stars were huge and bright. I felt keenly the blessing of being able to gaze at stars shining beyond the weirdness we have made for ourselves. I felt the blessing of being on land that is at least quiet in the night, something I know not to take for granted. My heart breaks over many things, some personal, some not. But every now and then I remember, it’s a blessing just to be alive.

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Anonymous March 15, 2012 - 4:33 am

When the house of cards continues to fall, and all of them proceed with business as usual, I wish I could put my earphones on, and dance to the silent melody of the moon…

Meg March 15, 2012 - 6:34 am

~ o ~ <– This is a stone. The kind that is chosen carefully and then quietly and sacredly placed with care. Like an offering.
I've come here to read for about 3 years but leave a comment only very rarely. Nothing I express seems sufficient or right or_________ [fill in the blank] for me. So I delete it before hitting the publish button. Until I can do better than that, I will simply come and leave a sacred stone. The stone means I have come, read, communed and loved.
Thank you, Elizabeth. You are treasured.
~ o ~

Unknown March 15, 2012 - 1:45 pm

Hard to count your blessings sometimes, when the curses seem to rain down on your head and overwhelm them. I am thankful for your headphones, and for the quiet night sky.

Blessings should be treasured, just like tangible treasures (like gold), but grow greater when they are shared, like your post, not hoarded like the miser.

faerian March 15, 2012 - 9:36 pm

i can't imagine what a difficulty all that noise is (i struggle with noise a lot) just know that your presence on this planet is a blessing to me…your being alive and doing what you do is a blessing to me my friend

Mhairead April 17, 2012 - 12:10 pm

And we are blessed by your writings ..~I have set you and Maeve a wee challenge on my blog you dont have to, but it would be fun if…


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