Years ago I was working at an orphanage in Carmen Serdan, Mexico. It was a small border town way out in the country. To follow the directions to this orphanage was perilous. Narrow and barely paved roads skirted along the sides of rolling hills and steep cliffs. It was common to see vehicles, particularly wrecked semi trucks that had the misfortune to have barreled off the edge. Lost forever rusting away in the ravine below. This wasn't a trail for the fain of heart.
Arriving into town the orphanage was the largest structure. Driving over the cattle grate and down a dirt road. Most of the facilities were what you'd imagine, an almost spartan sense of utility. Freckled in orange and lemon trees, their was a special patch of concrete laid near the far end of the complex. Next to the fence was a basketball court that volunteers had installed. It was smooth and was a great place to sit outside in the warm desert air and meditate or study.
One evening a friend of mine enticed me to camp outside on the basketball court. At first I was apprehensive. You see there were quite a few creatures in this desert that I found unpleasant at the time. To name a few: tarantulas, scorpions, rattle snakes and coyotes. Yet I was feeling adventurous. Also considering we both had sleeping bags that would zip up completely, and that the basketball court reflected in the moon; I felt that if we slept in the middle of the court we'd be able to spot critters making their way towards us.
What I didn't anticipate was actually the moon! That night was as if every star in the galaxy decided to shine so bright to compete with the brilliance of the moon. The moon was so full, so glamorous it felt like it took up three quarters of the sky! Perhaps it was just being so far in the country or perhaps it was truly what the Mexican moon always looked like. Nonetheless even though years later I feel awestruck by it's beauty. That something so ancient, and so magnificent can be so freely shared to all with eyes to see.
You see as I've been reflecting on this night and my incomprehensible euphoria. It's the beauty that keeps coming back to me. There's much in the world that is beautiful. From natural wonders, to creation, to people themselves. These things of beauty brings me joy, I often forget that beauty is seldom something you can own. Yet I still want to possess beauty. I want the feelings beauty gives me. I think we all do. From a smile from our partner to a scent that brings up happy memories. We want beauty of all forms in our lives, rich, deep and meaningful beauty.
Currently my wrestle has been with how I've been clinging to beauty. The beauty of what once was my marriage of 12yrs to my best friend. I miss her so badly. I miss the way she would make me feel and how that instilled a courage deep within me. I miss how she drew out the beauty in myself. And with this beauty now gone I'm stuck with it's absence. I've felt ugly. Yet I know on the surface that isn't true. I'm not an ugly person and the love and beauty I had in our marriage was real, at least on my part. So today I lift my head up, reminded by the Mexican moonlight that beauty is all around us, much of it is for everyone and some for a select few. I've decided to purpose in my heart to find the beauty in these ashes, the beauty in the ugly and the beauty at every angle.