Reflections of the Spirit

April 16, 2004


Wi & Wanwi , Together in the Skies

For the past two weeks (except yesterday and today, I have been rising about an hour or so before sunrise and going outside despite the cold (sometimes -14 degrees Celsius), and praying with a smudge and meditating until after sunrise.  For a while the sun and moon both were at opposite ends of the horizon.  It is great to see the power of Creator through those two sources of light ... the one direct, and the other reflected.  When one thinks about it, the direct light of the sun has more energy and warmth and creative  power.  It truly is the gift of Creator to sustain all of our lives.  But that does not lessen the importance of the reflecting moon.  Without the moon on many nights, the sky would only have stars to light up the darkness.  The moon is a reflection of the sun, and knowing that, we can believe in the sun during the night even though it is not shining directly on our side of the planet at that time.   The moon  confirms our faith that the sun is there and will shine again more directly on us.   I think there is a metaphor here for me;  The sun is the true source of the life that sustains me and all living beings on this planet, but the lesser lights which reflect the sun are important too and sustain me during the hours of darkness.  We humans are like the moon ... or we are at least challenged to be like the moon.  We are not the source of life but our role is to reflect that life to the rest of the world and so bring hope and needed direction to whose who walk in the night.  The stars are so far away that their light  is not enough.  We need a close reflective source of life , and we are called to be that for each other.

If we are to be the moon for our world, we need to remember that the only true light we have to share is from the source of light, and is not of our own making.  In fact, the moon does not understand that it reflects light.  It only receives light and the reflection is automatic.  Our planet earth does the same though our perspective does not allow us to see that effect.  If we stand in the presence of our Creator / God / Wakan Tanka, and allow that light to do its thing, we will be a source of light in the darkness of others even without being aware of it ourselves.  That is probably the best way in any case.  If we are too aware of how we are a light source, we are likely to become proud, vain and so turn in on ourselves and end our capacity to reflect what we have been given. 

Given the relative small size of the moon compared to the sun, the amount of light able to be redirected to the earth is small, and cloud cover can block it to a very large degree.  I think the clouds are what shields us from seeing Creator in others around us.  We have been given clear skies at night that allow us to see the moon and its light, so when there is cloud cover we need to remember that and keep our faith in the goodness of others alive in our hearts, and know profoundly that the goodness we experience in others is only a relatively weak reflection of the great goodness we receive from Creator ... a goodness so great that we cannot even look at its true might and power without hurting ourselves.  The period of Lent and the Holy Week liturgies of my Christian faith have reminded me of how great the love of the Creator, how bright the power of the sun is, and that if we let things be the way they are supposed to be, we can be a reflective moon to each other and the rest of the world.  In fact, that is the only way we can be truly what we are.


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