For as long as I can remember I have loved the moon. In fact, one of my first memories is of lying on my back in the snow holding my new Christmas telescope up to the moon. I was probably 7. But I remember so many moons since then. The last one I spent with my childhood dog, Shiner, in September. The one after Gail, a girl I was crazy for, broke up with me, in June. The moon over a bridge in Venice, Italy when I was backpacking through as an 18-year-old, in December. I never get tired of seeing the full moon. I love that it's the same moon that every human before me saw, that though we diminish its beauty with our pollution of light we haven't marred the moon--at least not that much--the way we have so much of the world's beauty. For as long as I can remember, the moon has drawn me out to stare up at its light.
I love that. I love that in all the change of life, especially the change brought by age, my reaction to the moon remains. I am as pulled to it, by it, at 47 as I was at 17 as I was at 7. And I'm growing confident that when I'm 87--if I am--that the moon and I will still share this pull. I think of that Emerson quote about the stars, that if they came only one night in a thousand years how "men would believe and adore" and tell everyone what they'd seen... but the stars come out every night, so we ignore their beauty. (Of course, that was 1836. In our day, the stars really do not come out, and so most of us ignore their beauty for that reason.) Because the full moon comes only once a month, I think that helps with the pull. It doesn't come too often. Some months when it comes the clouds block its way. So I get to see it seldom enough that when it does come, like tonight, bright and clear and radiant, I'm drawn to sing its praise.
Or whatever. I'm not singing. Just typing a few lines before bed, before sleeping through the rest of the night's beauty. But it always feels good to take a moment to acknowledge the moon, or whatever beauty the world offers.
I remember a recent full moon, seven months ago, in August. It was the last full moon I had with Luna, my 15-year-old Brittany. We were up in northern Minnesota at our lake cabin. I took her out on the dock under the moon and sat down, bringing her onto my lap, holding her there. She was in her last days, and she was calm, curled in my lap, but still sniffing the midnight summer air, seeing life with her nose, life of which I could only guess. I have always had the sense when looking up at the full moon that the moon somehow connects me with friends in other places under this same moon as it shines down on wherever they are. I think that too about the moons of my past, this moon is those moons, shining down on those experiences, those friends--like my dog friend Luna--keeping them alive.