Welcome the Invisible

Coming down the slope from that solar eclipse and heading toward yet another lunar eclipse. That’s three eclipses in four weeks. Stay awake. Don’t want to miss anything.

#1278, c. 1873

The Mountains stood in Haze —
The Valleys stopped below
And went or waited as they liked
The River and the Sky.

At leisure was the Sun —
His interests of Fire
A little from remark withdrawn —
The Twilight spoke the Spire,

So soft upon the Scene
The Act of evening fell
We felt how neighborly a Thing
Was the Invisible.

Last night Lance and I went out to the lake for a walk. We saw a tiny sliver of moon. Funny how the moon appears different sizes all the time depending on where she is in her cycle. Sometimes she is a small, white marble, distant and cool. Sometimes, like last night, the moon hangs so low, fat and heavy in the sky that we might brush our fingers against the soft, gold fuzz. So close to our plane, you can almost taste it. Last night the moon tasted lemony with a dusting of sugar.

Speaking of tasting . . . while we were wandering around the lake shore in near complete darkness, I turned Lance off the leash. He found something to eat that was so utterly foul, I can’t even tell you about it. If I used the right words to describe it, my computer would melt with disgust. His breath still stinks. I won’t go near him, nor will I kiss him. Lance has this marvelous ability to undercut the romance every time.

Back to last night and the beautiful moon. Our shadow, the earth’s shadow obscured most of the moon. A black blot against the gold glow, allowing a trace of light to show around the edges. So we can see both an image of the earth and the moon at once. Then it all disappeared. I turned my back on the moon for a moment and couldn’t find it again. Only the empty sky.

Lance and I sat on the concrete bulkhead at the edge of the lake and watched the water push itself against the low mossy step. The lake was as flat as a mirror. No breeze in the air. Then some movement in the surface of the water would come to us. A raised line made a wide, swelling pattern that rolled in silence to the edge, bumped against the step and turned on itself, moving in the opposite direction, back to its source. It came from far away, deep in the midnight blue horizon.

Something that I could not see had set the surface of the water in motion. The evidence of that thing, that precipitating event, whatever it was . . . a boat? Maybe, but the lake was empty and silent. A leaping fish more likely or something else. I’ll never know because it was not visible to me. I can only speculate about what brought this ripple in the water here. That evidence of its existence came all the way across the lake in the form of this gentle wave pattern in the water.

“We felt how neighborly a Thing/ Was the Invisible.” Emily says it is all around us. We may see evidence of it in the physical material of our world, not the thing itself, but all of us responding to the thing. That thing, that Invisible, is right here among us each moment. Our neighbor, close upon us.

Of course, it’s easy to say what Emily meant by Invisible. My sense of it is not so easy. I imagine it as something like the moon and her cycles. Sometimes dropping on us like a glob of lemon curd. Other times withdrawing from us and showing only a hard, cold face, far beyond our senses. She goes unfelt on those nights.

That Invisible comes and goes in my life. There are portions of time when I sense I am moving through a web of intention. That the air breathes with me. That I am part of something alive. I don’t have name for it. And it is invisible. To the degree that I am willing and able to acknowledge the existence of something I can’t see or completely grasp with my mind, I move in concert with the Invisible.

Despair is losing the step in the dance. Losing sight of the moon. Sometimes I reach for it, and it’s not there. Other times the Invisible comes upon me with such unexpected power that I am shamed by my arrogance, my failure to allow for what I cannot see.

Emily says: Walk gently with palms outstretched. Welcome the Invisible. It is closer than you know.

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