Full Moons and Birthday Balloons

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readAug 31, 2023

Ever since writing the last three articles on my experiences in France I wondered what to write next.

How about if I put together some explanatory notes to what I wrote? That may make the waters less muddy. Never mind that it could also be confusing.

Writing another installment could work. Why not? It would very likely take several extra cups of coffee over several days. It would definitely take conversations, texts and emails with various friends who have been to France plus the stabilizing forces of other spiritual workers. I’ve been in even more contact than usual with some of the latter. That could definitely work. In spite of how draining it was to write the last article.

Maybe I could just drive South until I hit Hurricane Idalia in Charleston, SC. Watch the King Waves hit the sea wall during the August 2023 Blue Moon. I definitely would not see the moon, but because of it I would feel the forces of the dangerous winds and rains, high tides and rip tides. (If you have never encountered a rip tide during a hurricane, don’t rush to do it. It’s definitely something you want to spend the rest of your life avoiding.) I have been in Charleston during hurricanes. I’ve driven through tropical storms in Charleston. All things considered, as a native Northerner I would rather drive through a blizzard.

More important than those and many other subjects came the realization that it was time to discuss the spirituality of other people in our lives. Much has occurred in my life over the last few months that would be enough to put a sane person’s teeth on edge. Well, big deal. It’s important for me to deal with these matters. You have your own lives.

What is important is that three terribly important people have reached out to me in the last few days. Sometimes I speak or write with them frequently. One friend shocked me when he said we had not actually spoken to each other in fifteen years. How abysmal!

This man, who radiates positivity, love and compassion, and I had not spoken in too many years. In spite of being a private person, the first time I saw him was when we were sitting around chatting in a crowd. He glowed. Seeing his halo (aura, energy, call it what you will), I broke my habit of avoiding new people. We introduced ourselves. We have been friends ever since.

The other man who contacted me also lives thousands of miles away. Earlier I sent him a birthday email. Not being the fancy tech wizard I sometimes wish I were, there were no pictures of cakes and balloons and confetti littering the screen in the email. Sadly. I love that kind of stuff. I am the person who definitely does not believe in serious birthday or other cards. The sillier, the better. My friend is that kind of guy, too!

The fact that we both enjoy humor that tilts slightly off center probably helped bring us together. We met at the worst time in my life. It was the beginning of a grand adventure for him. As he cautiously allowed his soul to expand, he showed off the beauty of his soul. His demonstrations of patience and kindness mixed with a subtle sense of humor.

The third person sent another of her long line of loving messages. Having her in my life is like having the best possible relative. Her many years of unflappable forbearance is an enduring reminder to me that all things are possible. They may not seem probable. There are times when life can feel like trying to find fresh Maine lobster in the middle of the Rockies. Never mind.

Trust. Not in humans. Trust in God. Trust in Somebody who is said to be unseeable. Wait. Hold on tight. The day any of us least expects it, we just might be blinded by the light coming from our personal burning bush.

As frustrating as that is to someone like me who finds patience to be a scourge, this woman is like the two men I already mentioned.

All of them remind me that sometimes what we think of as whips are barely wisps on the wind.

This is where the spirituality of friends surprises me. One of the men said we should live to be one hundred years old. The thought that came to my mind is that because he is much younger than me, I will move in with him. He can care for me the last ten or fifteen years of my life. One hundred years old? I can’t think of why I should live to that age. He would carry it off with his normal style and flair.

Give me moons full of good friends. Their warmth. Their exquisite kindness. Their astonishing love which floods me with arresting surprise.

Let’s blow up balloons in celebration of the magnificent gifts who fill our souls. The many men and women and children with us now, those who were here and those for whom we wait. Let’s celebrate the astonishing spirits of all those who truly love us and whom we love. Those who are in our daily lives and those who stop by to give us a God shot.

That is what my last articles were about. That is always my aim.

Here’s to full moons and birthday balloons!

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Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a Catholic Druid, mystic visionary and author who writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online.