The moon tugs until her arms grow weary. She sits back and sighs, awaiting a second wind which will never arrive. Slowly, she dozes off as the tide rolls out. Faithfully, she returns to work the following day. And every day.

Human emotions closely mimic the mannerisms of the moon. The midnight orb’s apparent effort, her crushing defeat, the endless cycle. And I can’t help my longing to understand its ebb and flow. The why, the how, the “what’s next?”

The waves rise and crash, creating a joyous cacophony. Then subside to expose a deafening silence, with the intermittent whispering of dark secrets. The tide lifts herself, serving as a reflective prism for the sun. Shortly thereafter, the crystalline beauty is sheathed by a cloak of inky void. Gorgeous shells are transformed into glass shards; innocent sand sharks become monsters of the depths.

It’s a slow yet instantaneous transformation–from light to darkness, calm to chaos, clarity to confusion–moving like clockwork, yet so often catching us off guard.

So much of nature moves through cycles. There is so much contrast. For example, the budding flowers and the turning leaves as they observe the Earth’s eternal pirouette. The mountain lifts up through her spine to enhance her posture. The river chisels away, renovating a home that will never be just right. Eventually rains fall and droughts come, causing a gradual regression of all prior effort.

The moon moves through her phases, the Earth religiously follows her trajectory around the sun, and humans age with precise predictability. And I’m slowly beginning to realize that amidst man’s need to control, so little truly falls into our hands. Life is framed within a paradigm of cycles and likelihoods. Unexpected happenings are entirely predictable, without giving away any details.

We build towers of expectation and express devastation when they don’t withstand the test of time. But, you see, the unwelcome invaders only serve to highlight the joy and security of our fortress. The darkness reminds us to appreciate the light. The pain prepares us to experience the most profound joy we could ever know.

On the nights when I feel overwhelmed and on the brink of breakdown, I step outside and look up toward the small glimmer of light in the sky. A reminder that it’s okay to feel sadness and anger, to know joy and profound gratitude. A symbol that the roller coaster of emotions is a natural ebb and flow, ever-shaping the most lovely and serene locale we could ever know: a safe haven in the heart, a place we can always return home to.

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