Found Blessing

This week I have been going through countless piles of old books (and toys, and clothes….) in my daughter’s room while she is away at camp. She is hitting double digits and adolescence is rapidly approaching, so its out with the “baby books” and in with young adult fiction. This has been a slow process because I find myself flipping through so many awesome books, with great memories of sharing them with her. I wish I had enough space to build a library for all of them, but at least some of these precious books must be parted with and shared with others who will hopefully also enjoy them as much, or even more, than we have. The circle of life for those of us who love books.

[As an aside here, I highly recommend taking a vacation from work during a time you can be truly unstructured and not responsible for anyone else’s care and keeping…it is truly good for the soul. This is going to be a yearly routine for me!]

Back to the point of today’s blog post, though. I opened one of the many story books we have which feature the moon, and found in it not only a lovely story but also a folded sheet of paper on which was written the blessing for my daughter’s baptism/christening/welcome to the Universe. Let me share the story as context, and then share the found blessing within it.

The moon is not only a personal favorite symbol for me, but has held mystery and magic for my daughter as well. While this is a part of who she is as a nature loving little creature, I believe it is also because of her christening. When she was born, my spouse and I knew we wanted to have some “welcoming to the Universe” event, but it wasn’t going to be a church baptism. First of all, we didn’t attend a church, so a baptism in some other person’s (or family member’s) church just seemed inauthentic. Her Dad is a lapsed Roman Catholic, and at the time, I was devoutly in the “spiritual but not religious” segment of my faith journey. A close friend of ours, Peg, a retired teacher and continual seeker of knowledge, enlightenment, and spiritual non-traditionality was our choice for a life-time spiritual mentor to our already free-spirited baby daughter. When we approached her about our intention, she instantly agreed to become our daughter’s “Moon Mother” which she thought was more fitting than “Godmother” and we knew without a doubt we had made the best decision. And that has truly been the case, reinforced over and over again.

We picked the night of the summer solstice moon, and as I have written about before, constructed a labyrinth in the field outside Peg’s woodsy cabin home by daylight so that we could walk the labyrinth journey together by the light of the rising moon. Peg had recently been to Ireland, and brought holy water home with her (hidden heaven only knows where) which we would use to splash the blessings of the Universe on each other. We ate strawberries grown of the earth as we sat outside around a fire, the air filled with stars and the light of the moon. We walked the labyrinth oldest to youngest, my daughter strapped to my back and laughing as we moved through the interlaced journey of life we traced beneath our feet, sending forth our prayers and wishes for the journey of life and spirit that lay before her.

Peg read the book, “The Moon Singer” which is the one I found this week while cleaning, now 10 years later as my daughter grows more fully each day into her own personhood, finding and claiming her path in the world. And, Moon Mom Peg read a blessing prayer to close our celebration, our “welcome to the Universe” christening. This is the found blessing tucked inside that book, re-emerging as a small point of light on my current journey as it unfolds:

May each day’s golden sunrise breathe life into your quest for knowledge…and mid-day’s red fire strengthen your courage and teach you trust. May the healing of cool sunset waters bathe you with caring plans for the future…and may you be wrapped in a midnight blanket of gratitude and wisdom. May you dance to the rhythms of Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon…and feel abundance and stability from the warm comfort of Mother Earth. May you soar to reach lofty goals with the graceful flight of the Winged Ones…and know instinctively like the Creature Beings when to work and laugh, sleep and play. May your talents and abilities blossom like the beautiful plants of the Standing Tribe…and your voice discern whether to speak or keep silent from the record-keeping Stone People. May you humbly learn the magnitude of the Universe at the feet of the twinkling Star Nation…and take joy in the luminous tapestry woven of people of all colors, languages, and beliefs. May your innocence forever help you to see the world of Little People and other folk…and the truth radiate from within and around you to guide you on your Path. May the medicine and miracles of these gifts brighten and nourish your Spirit…and may Love embrace you all of your days, and forever after.”

My daughter is growing into a little person of spirit. She loves the church I attend, now that spirituality and religious practice have reunited in my life. She often goes with me by her own choosing, this year deciding to serve as an acolyte. She also loves the freedom of spirit in which we question and search and seek, both in that faith community and within our family and its embrace of multiple spiritual perspectives as well. I happily just hung her two favorite symbols up by her bed…a cross she selected from a Palestinian Christian visiting our church and selling carved items made from olive wood, which hangs beside a sculpture of a moon in which is carved the image of mother and child. Peace signs, yoga mats, and nature are her favorite items of decor. She took a Bible, a Book of Common Prayer, and her favorite volume of Irish Myth and Folklore with her to camp. Moon Mom should be proud! And so am I…

As I opened this book and read the found blessing within it, I was reminded that our path never ends, and our destiny is not written but does emerge as we travel our journey with authenticity. Sometimes, we find our voice not in the public spotlight, but because we allow our spirit to shine through us. Others will find their way to us, because they are touched by the authenticity of our song. It’s a lovely little children’s book…read it if you can. The found blessing, tucked inside, is what lingers with me, though. It was then, and is now, everything I could wish for my daughter and everything I cherish in my own journey as well. It blesses the new chapter of my life which is taking shape through discernment, as I continue to learn from all the experiences I have had so far. Passing this found blessing to all those who read this for your own journeys as well…

About harasprice

Professor of Social Work and Priest in The Episcopal Church, parent, teacher, learner, writer, advocate, and grateful traveller along this journey through life
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