"This morning I woke up whole."
~ Ariana K. MacPherson
We are already a week into September. We arrived in Cape Town on Saturday after two weeks in the last days of North American summer, where we got to witness the magic of families and friends joining hearts and hands in honour of the union of two radiant souls -- my sister and her new husband -- and where myself and Ian received the blessing we have been waiting for from my parents, allowing us to begin our own journey towards marriage.
My sister got married in the Catskills, on a 92-acre farm where golden light filters through the tall pines onto forests of ferns and fields of tall grass and wildflowers. There, in that sunlight, under that sky, surrounded by those people, and sheltered by those trees, there were only a few things that were true: Love is real. God is good. We are okay. I am already whole. Life is beautiful. Of course this was only magnified when, all of us still glowing from the magic of that place, we returned to my parents home to say prayers and listen to my father play his flute in the afternoon sun in celebration of my and Ian's engagement.
Coming back from those magical times is never easy. I feel tender, filled with joy and love at the goodness of it all and filled with sadness at saying goodbye. But this time I keep being reminded of an image I saw a few days ago on the Maha Rose Instagram feed:
For me, this is a reminder to practice gratitude. To dwell in faith. It is a reminder of the magic of the present moment. It is a reminder that there is so much love and beauty in the world - that we are surrounded by it all the time if only we pay attention. This does not mean there is no pain, that there is no sorrow, no work to be done or injustice to overcome. It simply means that more than one thing can exist at once, and that we need not despair for beauty, hope, and grace are abundant even in our darkest times.
A dear friend of mine used to say to me when I was filled with fear and anxiety that God can make gold out of anything, and it is true. Today, in the wake of last night's New Moon, I can feel beauty rising up around me so long as I stay connected to this moment, to these feelings, to this tenderness, to my God, to love, and to gratitude.
God is good. All is well. I am already whole.
Everything I need is within me.
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