The homes in our neighborhood recently received an email alerting them that someone’s car had been broken into one night. We have noticed that several neighbors have been leaving on their outside lights in response to this news. Our neighborhood is small, with only one entrance/exit road, and we all look after each other without being in each other’s business. For many reasons, it is a great place to live.
Last night I noticed what looked like a bright spotlight shining in our front window. Its full force was muted by the tree branches it was shining through. My first thought was that someone had added a new eave light that was directed right onto our house, or worse, that someone else had been robbed and the police were investigating.
The Gladys Kravitz in me went straight to the window to check things out. As I peered through the glass and on through the branches with their tiny leaf buds I was pleased to see how wrong I had been. The full moon was shining its restful light on me – and on our entire quiet neighborhood. I had to go outside to soak it all in.
How different the moon’s light is from the sun’s! I don’t keep up with the almanac calendars, so I am always pleasantly surprised when the moon is full. It quietly rises without birdsong or crisp shadows announcing its arrival. It spreads over the landscape and softens rough edges with its dreamlike light. The cool glow warms your heart in a way that the sun’s heat can never do. Its place in the sky is ever changing and shifting, giving you the feeling that it’s now or never, grab its glow while you can, it is moving on. Sometimes it feels like you can actually see it sliding across the sky.
No wonder our ancestors depended so much on that almanac and knew every detail of the moon’s coming and going. Without all the electric and neon light we have today, the moon’s light guided much of their activity. Cynthia Rylant’s book, Long Night Moon, explains the changing names for the moons each month and describes of the persona of each of these night lights.
The moon was there at the back of our house this morning and I was sad to see it go. But I’ll be looking for it again tonight, soaking up its magic. And I know it won’t be too long until it brings another glimpse of its character to shine in full next month. I could check the almanac and know exactly when to expect it. But that would ruin the surprise.