Sunday, November 25, 2007

In The Glow Of The Pale Moonlight.

After a particularly uneventful (read: lazy) Sunday morning and early afternoon, I decided to motivate out into the world and run a few errands today. And when I did, I was greeted by one of the most gorgeous moons I've seen in a long, long time.

(I would include photographic evidence here, but my lack of experience with manual exposure settings produced results that would not only not do the scenery the justice it so richly deserves, it would make you all stare oddly at the fuzzy blob captured on my memory card and then stop reading my blog forever. and I don't want that, so I'll have to promise to do better next time.)

The full moon was hanging so low in the sky when I drove toward it tonight, and had a warm pale golden glow to it, or a bit of a peach-colored hue. (not the fruit, but like a peach rose. see...a good photo would work wonders here, wouldn't it?)

I felt like if I drove far enough I could get right underneath it, and if I stood on the hood of my car, I'd be able to grab onto it and pull it out of the sky. I even made a half-hearted attempt, but then I realized that I didn't have enough gas in my tank, and probably wouldn't get back before midnight to publish my Sunday post if I kept driving, so I gave up, and just stared as I drove.

It was such a gorgeously different moon from the one I tried to photograph the night I met the most interesting character I've encountered this year. This one was not unlike a soft night-light to guide you through an unfamiliar hallway, whereas the moon from that night was as bright as a lone stadium floodlight, suspended high in the sky and doing its best to illuminate Earth's night game.

Someday I'd like to delve a little deeper into the properties of the moon and how the angle of the sun and the position of the Earth make the moon appear differently on different nights, but...I think the science of it might take away some of the mystery and romance of the moon, as well. I prefer to just stare, and ooh and ahh. Sure beats any fireworks I've ever seen.

A buddy of mine sent me an e-mail earlier this month, after he became aware of this NaBloPoMo challenge I'm now close to finishing. He told me he didn't want me to run out of topics to write about, so he created a list he thought might help me through the month.

A few of his suggestions included: G-spot — fact or fiction; favorite tree; real men don't cry — true or false; the obligatory celebrity top 5 "to-do" list; is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all; what is your biggest fear and why. All great topics worthy of several paragraphs on their own.

But one of the items on his list was....The Moon: Why do you like it so much?

He's seen me ogle the stars before...and become hypnotized by a sunset...and rave about the moon.

It still completely blows me away that more than four decades ago, a group of very smart, very adventurous people looked up into the night sky at the moon and said, "I wanna go up there." And then about 38 years ago, they took "one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

I don't take for granted a brilliant moon, or a couple billion stars shining brightly, or a spectacular multi-hued sunset, or a meteor shower, or a sunrise (which I'd much rather stay up to see than get up to see...but the most awe-inspiring sunrise I've ever seen was when I woke up early to go salmon fishing out on Lake Michigan many years ago). They're all so much more affecting to me than any movie I could ever see.

And any place that's got a Sea of Tranquility is a place I'd love to spend some time.

Follow the moon.

"The sun, the moon and the stars would have
disappeared long ago had they happened to be
within the reach of predatory human hands."
—Havelock Ellis


  1. That same moon showed up in Cedarburg tonight.

    One of the things I miss about living in your area is the nighttime drive from TR to Manitowoc along Memorial Drive with that lunar beam slashing across Lake Michiguni's waters.

  2. I learned all about the stars and moon and planets and other etc in the various astronomy classes I had to take for my undergraduate Earth Science minor, but then I made an earnest attempt to promptly forget it all.

    Sometimes it's much nicer to not get bogged down by the science of things, no? :)