Last night I saw Jupiter rising.
It had rained all day yesterday and was swampy and cold when I sent my 11-year old off to scout camp. In the wee hours of the morning sleep escaped me as I lay in my bed worrying over him. That child has been on my heart a lot lately as the growing pains of life have seized him. I find most nights lately to be a long, exhausting battle in which I face my parenting demons, worry about his and wonder if I have given him the right tools with which to fight them.
For the first time in many nights I wasn't worried about his spirit. I was worried about him physically. Was he freezing? Was he lonely? Was he wet and dying of hypothermia? Could he carry his pack with the huge, arctic sleeping bag?
Fortunately in the middle of this midnight dance with the devil, a random animal entered our garage, knocked over the dog food and set my dogs into hysterics. I found myself wandering around the house and the yard putting socks in the laundry, checking children in beds, corking the bottle of wine I left open, and finally standing in the front yard staring at the moon.
After the wet and damp day, suddenly the sky had cleared into a crisp, cool, clear autumn evening. The stars sparkled more brightly than they have in a long time. I found myself standing, staring up in at the moon praying that my boy was warm and dry, asking the Moon to look down on him with her silver light til morning would come.
My orange cat wandered over, his winter coat coming in making him puffier than normal. He rubbed my leg as I pondered the night sky, thinking of the many people I love who are far away from me, spread out under the same dark sky, sleeping under the same half moon.
As long as I can remember, I have looked up to the moon and saw her as a crucial aspect of love. As though the moon might be the only connection I have to some people in my life, the only thing in common, and for that reason I have long loved the moon in her changing glory. Complicatedly inconstant. Her inconstancy binds me to those I call my own, more than the predictable sun, ever rising and setting.
There, right next to the moon was the bright and sparkly Jupiter, rising playfully in the wee early morn promising a bright tomorrow. His little twinkly reminded me of the boy on the mountain and his bright spirit, offering me comfort in my worries.
I went back to bed where sleep found me at last, as Jupiter danced over my head in his timeless waltz with the moon.