Waxing Crescent, 5 days old

All photos taken by author, November 4th. Waxing crescent moon, 23%, 5 days old.

This morning I managed to wake up at 6:30 am when my alarm went off… but then I lay in bed curled up in the fetal position for another 6 hours or so, listening to choral music. Chanting monks and singing choirs caressed my senses and I imagined I was in a big, cavernous, sacred space.

Finally, I quit procrastinating and emailed the person I was supposed to co-facilitate a discussion with next week. It is just a small volunteer gig, but one that is important to me, and I had already backed out in October because I felt so incapable. We had rescheduled for November. Today I cancelled again. I do not take cancelling lightly. I am someone who typically always follows through on all commitments, gives 150% to everything, and rarely cancels. But I cancelled. I could not imagine showing up at the location first thing in the morning and presenting material to a group of health professionals in a coherent, competent way.

I have eliminated almost all my commitments. Each commitment that remains, looms large and somewhat menacing in my agenda.

Then, after some journalling, this afternoon at 4:00 pm I finally had a shower and got changed in presentable clothes and left the front door for the first time in three days. It had been a shitty three days.

I walked to Shoppers and bought chocolate and toothpaste. The enamel-building kind of toothpaste. The last few years my dentist has been telling me that my teeth are so sensitive because I have been anxiously grinding down the protective surfaces of my teeth as I sleep. I should probably try to stress less too. That would help.

Then I dropped off my library books and meandered my way back home. Mission accomplished. Life had improved. Chocolate, toothpaste, library books dropped off, and a walk.

Except on days when I am being a complete recluse, I walk on average, 2 hours a day. Moving my body in a gentle, repetitive motion, while I breath in fresh air, creates a nice, soothing background rhythm to my thoughts. Walking seems to propel my mind forward in more positive ways than when I am curled up in the fetal position in my bed.

Depressed? I suggest walking, at minimum. It’s one of the easiest types of exercise that requires almost no prep. Swimming, yoga, cycling, running are all good too. Exercise is good for the brain.

During my walk, as I trudged up a hill with earbuds shoved in my ears and chocolate bar in hand, I noticed the crescent moon, just beginning her path across the sky. Instantly, I smiled. I hadn’t seen her for almost a week due to cloud cover and the New Moon phase, which is when the moon’s is overpowered by the sun and it appears to abandon the night sky.

Today she is 5 days old, fresh into another 29.5 day cycle around the Earth.

Full Moons are always impressive looking and get the most attention, but I prefer the young crescent moon. Aside from her story-book charm, she looks so hopeful to me. A new start. Another cycle is just beginning.

Tracking the moon’s orbit around the Earth has become an almost daily ritual for me. The consistency of its monthly phases are reassuring in a strange world.

Other natural phenomena provide similar reassuring consistency — like the sun setting and rising each day. However, the sun sets and rises every day, which makes it a little too routine, and besides, I’m rarely positioned to actually see the sun setting and rising.

There is something magical about the moon though, which lends it’s light to the darkened sky. The monthly lunar cycle reveals itself in unique phases that you can visibly track from day to day.

Somehow, the moon gives me hope.