I was driving home from the PA burbs tonight after dinner with my best friend Rachel and saw the very amazing strawberry moon rising above the skyline of Philly.
It felt so meaningful to see this giant glowing orb suspended in the sky over the city I love and I could not help but think of what ancient people thought of the strawberry moon--the full moon of June. I am sure they attached meaning to it--the moon under which the spring berries ripen, the moon that marks the end of one season and the start of another. Maybe the strawberry moon was good omen to some and a bad omen to others.
But, in the end, the full moon is simply the full moon. It is all part of the process of our solar system. Any meaning attached to it is something we gave it. It means, nothing, truly.
I know this sounds very anti-whimsical. But, I attempt to attach meaning to all things good and bad and it is exhausting.
To be able to admit that meaning is made up is such a relief, frankly.
Like when my brother died, I tried to attach meaning to this horrific, traumatic event. I still try to search to the meaning of everything that happened to him in his too-short life. And friends, this creates so much anxiety and rage and chaos in my soul. My brother, of course, had meaning in this world. But his death was a flaming pile of shit and to sort through that to find some deeper meaning is an exercise in, well, sorting through shit.
We are the masters of assigning meaning to all the things we cannot fully comprehend--good and bad. And again, I am not saying things don't meaning. However, everything does not have meaning. And sometimes I think I do myself a disservice in the pursuit of meaning and drive myself completely insane.
The healthier behavior, I think, is to be selective in the things we allow to have meaning in our life. We can observe everything and then we can decide if what we see is worthy of meaning. A thunderstorm when you want to swim in the pool does not mean you were not meant to swim in the pool. It really just means you could not without risking death. A full, gorgeous strawberry moon on a June night does not mean people are full moon crazy or that your berries will ripen this week or anything other than, it is June and there is a full moon.
We get to decide what has meaning in our lives. My brother's death has no meaning; it is his life that has meaning and his life continuing long enough to donate his organs which has tremendous meaning. Cancer has no meaning in my life. But, survival has all the meaning in the world. And while I don't wish to assign the moon any meaning as it relates to my mood, that moon tonight was a gift as I drove home from a lovely evening and meant I went on a nice, night walk with my husband and reconnected after two very long, very busy days.