Last night as I was taking out the recyling and green compost bin to the curb, I happened to look up at the night sky because the moon was looking so bright. And there it was, an almost full moon, waning in its size, illuminating the whole yard on a clear starry night. I paused a moment in the driveway and reminisced of times spent with my ex, walking down near the Ottawa River, looking up at a clear night sky just like this one.
Clear night skies, with the stars twinkling, shimmering in a shifting state of being against the dark night, are magical for me. Being with a partner who appreciates their mystery and their wonder has often been important to me and I felt a pang of longing. What a great time to lean into the concept of romancing myself right then and there! I finished putting out the recycling and headed inside to put the kettle on. While I waited for the water to boil, I filled my tea bag with my favourite David’s Tea, Cinnamon Hearts, and breathed in its brisk cinnamon scent. I feel decadent when I drink this tea and it always feels like a treat.
I poured the boiled water into my favourite cup. My daughter painted this for me and it is huge, big enough for the equivalent of two cups of tea. It has an ombré fade of colours with dark shades of vibrant purple at its base fading up to light purple at the rim of the cup. One side of the cup it reads ” throw salt over your shoulder, rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck” and on the other side “Fall in love whenever you can”. She painted it for me as a Solstice gift and so it was in the works before I broke up with my ex. When I opened it on the morning of the 25th, my heart wound was still so tender and raw and I burst into tears. My grief overwhelmed me.
Three months after the break-up, my grief is softening. If it was a physical wound, the scab is thickening and when you brush against it, it merely stings a little. The right catch on a corner can pull the scab off and leave it bleeding freely once more, but the wound underneath is slowly getting smaller. Tonight, my grief feels more like a memory – I know that it is there, but it is not in the forefront of my thoughts.
My self-date on the back deck of my house is quiet. I am aware of the lights from the basement where my daughter and her room-mate (I guess they are my roommate too!) are chatting away over something that twenty-somethings will get engrossed in. There is a silence in the air, broken faintly by the sounds of cars and buses passing on a slightly larger street a couple of streets over. I sip on my tea, the sweet cinnamon rolling around on my tongue, savouring it before I swallow. I have my hands cupped around the heat of the cup soothing myself.
While I love to look at the stars and the moon, I only know how to identify a couple of them. The big dipper and the little dipper. I usually can find Orion the Hunter. And with those, I can locate the North Star. The beautiful thing about the North Star is that you can find it at any time of the year, and at any hour of the night in the northern hemisphere. The metaphor of “the North Star” is often used to describe finding your life’s purpose and passion and having that as a guide for you in life or at work.
Tonight I spent a lot of time gazing at the North Star, drifting off to see what other patterns I imagined seeing beyond the 3 that I knew I could identify. I imagined people that I cared about across the country looking up at the night sky with me. I felt both how big the world was and how small it was all at the same time. I lingered with my tea, sinking into “the pause” at the moment. Along with this idea of romancing myself, I have also been trying to create more “pause” in my life.
I stood there on my deck watching the stars and the moon for close to twenty minutes. Mostly I felt content and in the end a little sad. One of the points that signaled to me that my relationship had not been headed in the direction I wanted over last summer was my partner’s reluctance to meet me at the beach and watch the sunsets together, or to step outside in the evening after I arrived at their house and look at the stars together.
My micro-date came to its own close, in just the same way that a date with someone else will sometimes come to its own end. The person sitting across from you says “the thing” that shifts the energy and you know it is time to wrap it up. Memories – happy and sad – floating across my consciousness was the same kind of signal to me that my date had come to completion.
I took a final sip of my tea, said a small blessing of thanks to the night sky and headed inside to get ready for bed. I rated this date an 8/10