As the full moon that graced the skies this past Monday wanes, I am reminded that life’s processes do the same. This past Monday, I held a “Full Moon Celebration” for a women’s support group that I offer each week. Our Northern California skies had been filled with unexpected rain. Throughout the day I cast an eye to the sky, certain that the rain would not interfere with our gathering. Indeed, nature sweetly complied, and as the time for our event neared, the rain paused. Our ceremony opened beautifully with a poetry reading by a young daughter and her lovely mother. Two generations of women, both with liquid eyes that had known sorrow and joy, stood side by side in the fading autumn light. This unique celebration offered a time for the women–ranging in age from 15 to 64–to gather outdoors, each having brought a short list reflecting those thoughts or behaviors that they wished to release. Up in flames went remnants of outworn relationships, destructive behaviors, and damaging thoughts. Woman by woman, the lists were shared or held private, and then cast into the bonfire that glowed softly in the dusk. The women then made another “offering,” this time asking for that which they would like to bring into their lives. One by one, with hope-filled eyes, these amazing individuals asked for their heart’s desires. I was thrilled to witness their wondrous requests: love, joy, peace, release, new beginnings, fearlessness, strength, confidence, power, success, and wisdom. As we brought our gathering to a close, another poetry reading reminded us all that life is meant to be lived fully in all its phases…embraced with open arms and open heart. Nibbling on S’mores, apples, and cookies, the women reveled in the the company of like-minded souls. Hope. Companionship. Rejuvenation. It was a sight to behold, an experience to treasure. As we gathered our belongings, I looked above to dark, cloud-covered skies. Smiling and laughing, I called to the women who remained, and they, too, shared in my awe and excitement as they gazed above. The moon in all her glory had appeared, as if by magic, between the clouds…in a briefly cleared spot in the heavy skies above. The moon glimmered before disappearing again. Twice more she appeared, each time more radiant and full than the last. A Hunter’s Moon. A moon to remind us all, women and men alike, that life is a wondrous cycle full of renewal even after the darkest of storms. And, as I began my drive home, small sprinkles of rain began to fall. Magic, indeed.