Harvest Moon

Over the last week I have been on a Neil Young kick—for some reason his music feels to me like exactly the right music for late spring in SE Morocco.  Especially his Harvest Moon album (it is, after all, harvest season here).

Last night at around 10pm, as I was closing the windows in our living room, I saw the full moon partly obscured by the clouds and thought, “I must go, now, to our roof!  And watch the moon!  While listening to Neil Young!”  So I did this, sitting quietly by myself, watching the bright yellow orb shift in and out of view from the clouds.  It was so lovely.  The air was cool and there was a light breeze.  As some point I realized I should try to take pictures of the moon, but they do not at all capture the beauty of the whole experience: the music and weather and my own mood of satisfaction with life at that moment.  It was the perfect way to end the day, in large part because I recognized in the moment that I would never be able to replicate the experience.  I have instead tucked it into my memory as an example of how fortunate I am to be serving with Peace Corps.

My wish for the world is for each person to have a moment of pure joy, with a full moon watching over the moment.

This is my wish: May we all experience many moments of inner joy, with a full moon watching us!

This morning in my journal I wrote about how starting and ending each day with a time of reflection helps me resolve many of the challenges that I encounter in my life here.  Starting and ending each day with intentional reflection (in the morning I journal, in the evening I take a few moments to consider how I feel at my core) is a new practice for me, but I find that building these reflective times into my routine is slowly evolving into habit.  I am quite determined to continue using these tools during my time here, not just to sustain me emotionally day-to-day, but also (thinking specifically about my journal) to have a record of my experience in Morocco.

I shall end this post now, as I have to head off to teach an English class.  But I would love to hear from others about how reflection and mindfulness are used in your daily life, if at all.  Do share, dear friends!



  4 comments for “Harvest Moon

  1. June 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Sweet Erika,

    Thank you for the music, the image and the sharing. Reflection, meditation, prayer, gratitude practice… all of those used as bookends to our days can change how we encounter and experience our lives. Ancient and true practices across cultures and time.

    I know you will hear from many of your friends about the importance of their own practices. I think I would be a pretty crazy person without my daily morning meditation. Reading your blog is a reminder to include some active night time reflection and gratitude.

    May we all welcome the chance to discover our own inner light and shine it out to the world around us.

    Love always,


  2. Paul Schiavo
    June 4, 2015 at 8:34 pm


    Thanks for the very lyrical, poetic description of your Moonrise-Kingdom moment. It made my day.

    Best to you & Tom.

  3. Andi Cohen
    June 6, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Erika – We think of you and Thomas all the time. Staying with those special moments – without needing to do anything else but allow them to infuse the soul – is indeed a great blessing. Much love to you both! A & N

  4. Erika Stanley
    June 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you all! This post is one of the more personal ones I have written, and I am glad that you each enjoyed it. As I continue to experiment with how I use this blog, I am finding it easier and easier to go below surface level ‘reporting’ to share my fuller experience of life in Morocco.

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