These last few mornings, before dawn, I have walked the dog. Because my head is thrown back mouth hanging open dazed by all the stars, I have no idea whether or not she has relieved herself of her night holdings. Let’s presume “yes”, as she has not soiled the carpet (recently).
On our walk this morning, cows lowing and uncensored roosters on the farm through the wood tuned up for their field day. Again, the sky invited gazing. Orion, clear as ever, sparkling belt and all, beginning to dive out of sight into the gathering equinox. Tonight, we will be blessed by the pull and push of September’s full Corn moon or Barley moon; the true Harvest moon this year does not rise until October.
Orion, whose body so powerful, his ego so big, believed no creature would or could ever slay him, stung by a lowly scorpion and up into the stars he went. The scorpion, receiving similar celestial treatment, was placed on the opposite heavenly hemisphere so the two might never meet again. Orion’s story, far more detailed and varied than what I share here – versions that include seduction, death by arrow, sobbing goddesses and angry gods, mothers and daughters, and other narrative rhinestones – a familiar and ancient myth.
This morning, realizing the constellation was leaving our sky for a while, I felt an overwhelm’ment of gratitude for having those few moments of unlit quiet, alone and outside. And, immediately after that peace, I felt as though the calendar would suddenly move more quickly than the last eight months. When the grape harvest is over, our home life will return to ‘normal’. No more insanely early wake-up times for him (which also mean for me because once he’s up, I basically am, too); no more going to bed directly after 5 o’clock supper (which means being in bed with a full stomach, tossing and turning and trying to screen read in the dark, and being awake long after he has crossed into deep sleep). The return of morning and evening in-bed conversation and planning and mindwandering, and communion. As much as I may become periodically flummoxed about these temporary changes to our household routine, Orion reminds me to never get so brazen and full of myself to believe I can get along without these things; to not take the small stuff for granted, lest they creep up and bite/sting/kill me.
Harvest isn’t going to kill me or us. Neither is the changing sky…because there is always a reason to get up in the morning, and not just an anxious dog – whether or not the fruit is ripe and ready, and there is always something to look at in the sky, day or night, clear or foggy.
Just keep looking up.