Lughnasa and the Moon of the First Harvest
Awe and gratitude. Then, acceptance. Awe sees, hears, feels, smells, tastes the Otherworld always with us but so often made invisible by habit of thought, by custom, by hurry, by dullness. Gratitude blossoms on its own when we see the Otherworld of which we are a part. Constant gratitude embeds us in the mystical, sacred world that awe presents to us.
Once we know the Otherworld for what it is, there even if today we are blind and deaf, gratitude becomes our way. We then accept our embeddedness in it. We are not other, rather we are part of this pulsing, dynamic whole. Acceptance and gratitude are not only for the wonderful, the special, the good. Acceptance and gratitude have to include things like cancer, divorce, death, decay for they are part of the sacred world, too.
What? Grateful for cancer? Why not? It’s challenged me to rethink my life, to carve out what’s important from the usual block of cultural granite given at birth and accreted over the years. The experience has reaffirmed cherished views, too. My friends do care. My family does love me. The medical system has many people who care a lot, who know a lot, who can help. (OK. There was bad Amanda and the axumin scan business, but, hey!)
How can I not be awed at the living marvel of cancer. It adapts, changes, strives for immortality. It feeds and grows. Its reach is wide, stretching across many species. It’s no worse an actor than heart disease or old age or stroke. It is the Big C, yes; but, it’s role in the Great Wheel turning of our lives is no different from any agent of decay or decomposition.
Am I ok with its plans for my body right now? No. Not even a little. In order to counter it though I first have to accept it. Not deny it. Not turn in fear or arrogance. Cancer’s reality is awesome, even has that yirah tinge of fear attached. I’m grateful I found it in me, learned about it and have means to halt or stop its progress.
Accepting it gives me power. Strength. When I accept it, I say that it is not the final word for my health, my worth, my life. Even if it proves fatal, it will not have determined my life.