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I just got off the phone with a dear friend of mine who is in treatment for breast cancer. Before getting cancer, she had been a raw foods gourmand, acupuncturist, healer and midwife. She thought she had it all figured out, that if she just did all the “right” things and walked a “righteous” path physically, spiritually and emotionally, disease would just pass her by. It did not. Now she says, “I can’t believe I was ever so arrogant to think that I had such control.” The real trick, she has discovered, is not trying to control everything but to accept with grace whatever your journey might throw your way.

“I am not a cancer survivor,” she says. “I’m just a person on a journey that includes cancer.”

I understand all of what she says because I’ve been there. I was a vegetarian for 16 years, took supplements, did yoga and walked my own “righteous” path. But my clean living was not enough to protect me from getting lymphoma at age 30. I felt for a long time as if I must have done something wrong, that perhaps I just hadn’t been “good enough” to avoid cancer. That’s sad, isn’t it? At a certain point, though, I stopped asking “why” because it’s such a waste of time. I had cancer, and that was just part of my journey. Read the rest of this entry »

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I took a walk pre-dawn today to view the lunar eclipse. I am not an early morning person. But at 5:30, I awoke and sat up straight. The full moon was shining through our bedroom window and calling me to attention.

In our old house, I remember peering through our bedroom’s French doors at some wildflowers I had planted in the spring. Every night they seemed to straighten and raise their heads in the direction of the moon, a lithe little army bathed in silver incandescence. I used to wonder then about the effect of the moon on their lives and how much we really understood of that connection.

This morning I felt that pull of the moon on my own compass. I put on a coat and shoes, stayed in my pink plaid pajamas, and walked to the field down the street, where I would have the best view of the setting orb.

The moon hung at the edge of the sky, brilliant and huge. It had taken on a golden glow as though it were a harvest moon wandering through the wrong season. As I waited for the eclipse, I felt the ascent of the rising sun at my back and the sinking of the moon in front of me on the horizon. I felt myself and my Earth exactly in between. I breathed in the cold air and stood suspended in a polarized allegiance. Read the rest of this entry »