Yesterday while cleaning and purging the attic I found more than I went looking for, and the overall experience cleaned something that had been hanging over me. During the all day cleaning I sang Kundalini chants and the headphones I wore saved me from seriously knocking my head at least a dozen times on the low hanging beams. A few big a-ha moments arrived as I sorted through old boxes, and some tears...I knew that the Moon was conjunct Pluto.
When I finished and I called for my wife to come and see my work I realized, before she even entered the room, that she wouldn't be able to see the real love, the real detail, and the real labor that had gone into the process of that cleaning. Because since we moved in she wasn't able to climb the ladder, and since we've had the baby she hasn't gone up either. My heart suddenly felt sad...nobody would recognize or really know, but me, what had gone into the cleaning.
She was everything I could have asked for when she saw the finished product. She was happy, supportive, and thankful. Then she left and for another hour I finished cleaning and polishing the floors (the attic is also a bedroom and it opens into a storage room at the back) because my sister and mom will be using the room when they visit this week to see the baby.
As I was cleaning I heard a voice reminding me, "The best work we do is never recognized by the world because its rewards are in heaven, built up in the spirit and the soul. The greatest work we do is done in the secret. The greatest prayers we pray aren't petitions or demonstrations but actions performed lovingly in sacred silence. Invest your heart here, blessed, and take the same private joy hidden in all nature, the heavens and the earth."
Last night I was holding my daughter and I realized that I have no memory whatsoever of the enormous amount of love that was poured into my body, heart, and soul as a small child, and even less as a fetus in the womb. I have no memory of some of the most intense and in depth attention and nurturing I ever received. My parent's didn't get a medal, they didn't get over 100 likes, and though I could say thank you I would never really know what they did for me just like my wife couldn't really understand what I did in the attic yesterday.
As Mercury is retrograding in Capricorn, the sign of great merit, sign of emperors, CEO's, and mountainous recognition, the question I find myself asking is "What will it take for us to seek the recognition of the endless affirmative silence?" How many things will we achieve only to come back to the emptiness...the stone cold of the mountain after the merit has crumbled?
Parenting, in my brief one month with this small being, reminds me that the greatest love is invisible, and this is the greatest achievement, surrounding us, binding and bonding us, all of the time. We are being cleaned and created constantly and yet the hands who do the work seek no praise. I hope that my life can become more of a joyous response...a thank you.
And whatever comes in the future, may we never blame Mercury for taking us backward to go forward again. For the crumble and fall and for the silence it resumes in our hearts. The sweetest music.
So today, as things potentially break down, stop working, or if the past comes back, or there is tension, misunderstanding, or "communication meltdowns," or travel delays...if we feel we've not been recognized...can we say thank you and trust that what's being taken away isn't what we needed right now anyway?
Prayer: In the silence and the secret, the recognition unending