The waning moon, like an eye with her lid half shut watched me as I walked through the gate into the back pasture.  It was 2:30 am, the dark sky was pierced with stars, the half-moon still bright enough to throw shadows.

I woke up with tears in my eyes and an overwhelming feeling of being disconnected from the world around me. It wasn’t loneliness but the feeling of  being an outcast, of not belonging.

Out the window, moonlight glinted off the metal ridge cap on the barn roof.  A sliver of light that beaconed to me.  I kissed Jon’s head and slipped out of bed, quietly pulled on socks and pants under my nightgown and closed the bedroom door behind me.

Fate followed me into the back pasture, but the rest of the animals stayed behind.  I stood on the highest point of the small hill and looked up at the sky.  There were the few constellations I’m familiar with, Orion, the Big Dipper, The Seven Sisters and more groupings of stars that looked like they might be something.

When I looked down the frost on the grass sparkled in the moonlight, like tiny stars.  And I felt as if I was being held between the stars in the sky and the stars under my feet.

The farm house and barn were toy sized in the distance. And as I looked at them I thought of how this was my home, that it all belonged to me.

But in the next instant I knew that I would only be here a short time.  That the house and barn were already here longer than I’ve been alive.  And the land, with its manmade boundaries, could never really belong to anyone.

That’s when I realized that it didn’t belong to me, but that I belonged to it.

To the house and the barn, to the seventeen acres of pasture and woods but also the land stretching out around it and under it, to the earth and the stars, the moon and the sky.

Suddenly I felt connected to something so much bigger than myself. And I was flooded with the feeling of belonging.  I’m not an outcast, I thought, I know my place in the world.

On the way back to the house I fed the sheep and donkeys some apples, then had a cup of warm milk and went back to bed.

Jon was still sleeping when I crawled in next to him, and I quickly fell asleep feeling content and grounded in my new understanding of what it means to me to belong.

8 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. Such a beautiful piece from your heart. I felt similar on Wednesday, but it eventually passed. It’s really about learning to roll and move within those emotions isn’t it? And trust it’s all the process of life.
    BTW: I have that same flower pot. 🙂

    1. That’s a good way of putting it Barb, moving with the emotions. They definitely continually change for me. That flower pot was in the house when we bought it. I do love it!

  2. Thank you sharing such profound feelings! How beautiful to feel that elusive sense of belonging! May this enlightening moment stay within your spirit for all time and nourish you! Peace and love to you Maria!

  3. Maria…
    On 11/25, you posted “Belonging.” Did you ever wonder whether anyone else had such a profound experience? I did, and wrote about it in 2012. In the late 1960s in Northern California, I had driven up a mountain road leading to an observatory. At 3,000 ft, I drove off the road and got stuck for the night.

    “Headed downhill, the car approached a large oak. Coming to rest against its trunk, the car could no longer back up or turn. I had imprisoned myself, to spend the night up there alone – really alone.

    While darkness commandeered the sky, I marveled at twinkling lights, both above and below. Signatures of the frenzied population I had left were plainly visible, yet so remote. I could spy them through layers of low clouds, from a perspective far above that all. Very relaxed in this different world, I fell asleep before the urban nightlife awoke.

    In what seemed like minutes, morning arrived. … I acquired towing assistance and proceeded down, leaving behind an incredulous roadside assistance crew. But from that point, I was changed. I knew that I belonged in this world and needed not fear.”

    The significance of this revelation is confirmed by my recall after all this time.

    1. That is a beautiful story Donald. Thank you for sharing it. I would imagine there are many people out there who have felt similar. I believe we all could under the right circumstances.

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