April Moon Thoughts

Posted 04.23.13

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Late at night, when there's not much left of the daylight world to think about, it is interesting to consider that when we are looking at the moon, we are in fact looking at the sun. Looking at the sun is a no-no, while looking at the moon is a romantic and philosophic moment, although moonlight is no more than sunlight reflected. Can reflections make such a difference?

A further interesting detail, in staring up at the moon, is how colourless is the moon's light. Everything is black or white in moonlight, and the white is as cold a light as can be found in even the darkest parts of the universe; it's a cold, heartless white shining down upon us. What has filtered out the dangerous reds and blazing oranges of the sun?

Is this lack of warmth why the moon is often associated with the pagan world? The purity of the moon's whiteness may be one reason for the moon's association with purity and with the goddess Diana, the pagan Virgin Queen.

But looked at under the clarity of its own light, the moon's whiteness is not a part of the living, chaotic world of birth, growth, and decline. Purity, virginity, logic and hard-edged clarity belong to the coldness outside our Earth's thin skin. There's nothing romantic up there.

At best, what we see symbolized in that moon's light is logical thought and the wisdom to be gained from such emotionless precision.

Yet every month, we relive this drama -- the surprise, the freshness of our initial glimpse of the moon. First appears the tiny, delicate sliver of light, but soon we see the moon in its full glory as it waxes, sailing towards us though a great sea of clouds. Night after night, until its grand arrival -- and then, spectacle of everything arching in the sky above us, the full moon arrives, casting its own clear shadows around us.

An occasional bird awakes to the brightness, bursts into song for a second -- all this, the glory of the moon's crescendo. What excitement! No wonder it's hard to sleep with the moon glaring at our darkened windows.

No one and nothing could keep up such a dramatic presentation. The full moon de-robes amid the clouds; the entire sky becomes its backdrop -- and yet within a few nights the moon has turned its back to us.

It is now reticent to even appear, and quietly rises later and later each night. Soon all we see is her retreating bare shoulder, far off and low to the west. Come back! All the glory, the romance, everything that moved us in our youth is withdrawing…

The naiveté and wonder of our childhood is crushed. The moon has returned to her cold, aloof ways. Clouds blow in from the dark of the north.

April moves on us. Our nights seem brief, and the days are longer.


Copyright © 2013 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/04.13