Moon, Solstice, or Aurora?

When I woke up at 3 a.m. today, I wasn't especially happy to be conscious, but I was curious. What had awakened me? I didn't remember dreams, bad or good. 

Then I saw how light the sky was. (Our bedroom blinds don't block everything.) 

As I lay there, I reviewed the options. That light in the sky: It could be the moon. It could be the solstice. Or it could be the aurora.

I got up and tiptoed to the window to look. Turned out, the sky was just that light at 3 a.m. on June 22 this year. Thanks, solstice!  

But as I tried to go back to sleep, I thought about the differences between the moon, the solstice, and the aurora. 

The moon is full every (wait for it) month (not exactly, because our measurement systems aren't accurate, but still). The full moon isn't always visible from our bedroom window overnight, but it is visible several times a year. The regularity is comforting, even when we can't see it.

The solstice happens twice a year; one in the darkness and one in the daylight. Also regular, but with more time between -- even more time, a full year, between 3 a.m. twilights.

The aurora -- well, that's a gorgeous gift, bestowed at random (more or less). It may be more visible in the winter than summer (though I've seen some spectacular displays on August nights), and it may occur in clusters. The point is, don't set your watch by it. 

Clouds, not the aurora, but pretty nonetheless.

So as I lay there not-quite sleeping, I considered work, and projects, and my days, and time passing. And my expectations. 

Summer is such a busy time, almost frantic as we try to do things in the long days to prepare for long nights. Because I am a creature of habit, I value the events that present themselves with regularity -- the grass needs to be cut, "someone" should sweep the roof and rafters of the little camp, footpaths have grown up and need to be thinned, it's warm enough to safely drag the boat nearer the water, the neighbours have seen a hungry raccoon so it's time to stop putting food out for birds. That kind of thing. 

Some things happen with the regularity of the moon, some are more solstice-type events (car service), and several years elapse between some (related: we have a new garage door).

But I never want to expect ONLY those events that recur, whether monthly, annually, or every couple of decades. 

I want to be open to the unexpected. Sometimes, opportunities fall into my lap; sometimes I pursue projects that don't pan out but I'm glad I tried because why not.

The metaphor: I love seeing the moon, and I appreciate the special nature of the solstices as they pass. And, when I wake 3 a.m., I want always to remember that I COULD see the aurora.

Now, back to my third day in a row of "town errands," with another day possibly Friday. Happy solstice! And happy moonrises, and happy auroras, when next they come.