A big storm blew into southern Oregon late yesterday afternoon with lots of wind and rain, rain, rain. INTENSE rain, impossible to escape, unless you were already snuggled up and inside – which I wasn’t – but I was close, except for the firewood, which needed to be gathered. Then, drizzled on, soggy and bogged down, and with rain dripping off the bill of my wonderful, waterproof cap,I dragged in firewood and built a fire in the wood stove before settling in for the evening to grab a bite of dinner, do some laundry and watch TV.
Hours later, when the rain finally let up, I stepped outside to retrieve something from my car. The clouds had lifted and the silvery moon shimmered right there in front of me, almost close enough to touch, it seemed like, as if a spotlight was shining on all of us, just another little reminder that we are all in this together. It was so beautiful, so exciting, so thrilling that I almost hopped, like a flea, around the front yard, shouting out “WAHOO!” and waving my arms in the air, before dancing toward my Subaru. I was wishing that the one I love was here to witness this with me; hoping that the clouds around British Columbia last night had lifted, as well, so she could see what I was seeing in Oregon, that she could gasp at its beauty along with me. Our own luminescent touchstone.
I posted a version of this story earlier on Facebook, and it’s fun to read what people have written back about their experiences of the moon. It connects us, that moon of ours, with all of us staring in amazement at its beauty and wonder. A high school friend told me how lovely the moon looked last night as it rose over downtown Dallas. I grew up in Dallas; I can see that in my head. Another friend said she sends “Moon Alerts” to her grandchildren across the country when that silvery orb is giving us an especially great smile in the sky. Sweet stuff. Connection.
Few things in this life have that same kind of connecting quality. In America, we all stare at our flag and sing our national anthem with our hands over our hearts, often with tears in our eyes. Our flag connects us as countrymen, but we can pretty much bet that the Russians, say, or the North Koreans, or the Iraquis aren’t going to have that same visceral reaction to our American flag that we do, nor would we to theirs. The moon, though, well, that’s a different story. The moon is an equal opportunity mesmerizer for the whole world as it shimmers out there in an indigo sky, reminding us that we are one world with one moon and that, if we try really hard, we can sometimes think of this family of man as one, also. Really, it’s like a Coke commercial without the great graphics but, truthfully, the moon doesn’t need the great graphics. It just needs us to pay attention.
The moon was not yet full last night, I know, and, thus, it is not yet perfect. But, then, neither are we and, maybe, that’s what makes it all so wondrous. Even in our imperfection, our shiny, magical imperfection, we all still have a chance to glow. To shimmer. To sparkle. To shine so brightly it takes someone’s breath away. And, like Buffalo Gal doing the cha-cha across her rain-soaked driveway last night, to even dance by the light of the moon.