November is a month of closure. A time of change: things hinged in balance, swaying. In the Northern Hemisphere, it ushers in Winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, it brings Summer. A door closes. It's time to look for the light.
November also hosts several holidays that celebrate this closure that allows us to open our hearts to new hopes. The beginning of the month kicks off with All Saint's and All Soul's Days. Mid-month Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated. In the United States, Thanksgiving is revered. In Myanmar, the sacred Buddhist full moon holiday of Tazaungdaing, also called the Festival of Lights, occurs.
Tonight is actually Tazaungdaing. Our neighborhood has many houses decorated with Christmas lights. Our street has about three monasteries on it, so people have been busy stringing lights up across the narrow road. Most of them didn't work yesterday (maybe they will today), but I still thought it was pretty.
Tazaungdaing is a time to give alms, helping those less fortunate (usually by donating food in your neighborhood) and receive merits at the same time. In the city of Taungyi, a famous hot air balloon festival takes place with balloons and fireworks.
Tonight is also the full moon eclipse, or lunar eclipse. We'll be lucky enough to have a complete view of the eclipse assuming weather permits. I'm wondering if the the eclipse will make Tazaungdaing this year more auspicious..
I've read that the lunar eclipse is a time to let go, a time for renewal...just as the month of November really is. Mystic Mama's blog here provides ample information about this eclipse for those of you spiritually inclined; she also suggests special rituals that can be done as a way to let go of the past - of whatever is holding you back - and allow room for your hopes and dreams (the light) to come in.
Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that last night, while getting F ready for bed, she sang tightly into my ear,
"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."Maybe my six year old was ahead of the game and knew, somewhere deep in her, that this is a time for seeking out the light in all of us and remembering who we are.
So, I've been inspired to write down a few of my hopes. I've share on my Facebook page that last year, our family and friends wrote and hung things they were were grateful for on the Tree of Thanks I made for Thanksgiving. At Valentine's we used it to write down the things we loved. I shipped the sparkly 'tree' to Yangon. Tonight, I will, with hopeful heart, hang the things I wish for on this lunar eclipse/Tazaungdaing. I'll ask my daughter to do it as well. I don't think I'll have any luck with the husband; he'll just say it's too mushy + woo-woo for him!
Still, there's nothing wrong with wishing for a bit of magic. And I do believe that you receive what you put out there in this beautiful, sometimes clumsy, world.
I wish for you and all those you love: happiness, peace, tonnnssss of love, and health.
(I'm adding health in there after spending the last five days quite ill with flu or salmonella poisoning or both: the reason for not posting recently!)
What will you be letting go of? What are your hopes and wishes?