Tonight the moon rose, full and fat and orange. It lingered on the horizon long enough for me to put on shoes and trudge down the dark driveway, accompanied by my faithful, aging black Labrador and youthful orange cat. We didn’t go far. I stood and watched, jacket pulled tight against the cool evening breeze. Watched that big fat moon. Wondered and remembered other nights during my six decades when I stood beneath the great dark sky and watched the moon. I had no camera. Others see such stupendous things and have the camera ready and five minutes later, the image appears on Facebook. I always appreciate those photos…but rarely take them myself.
For my part, I wanted to write a poem, or sing a song, or dance a dance, but I did none of those things. I just stood and watched, feeling the fullness welling up in me. And remembered.
Here is a poem–two of them, in fact. But I didn’t write them. I only copy them now because these are the words that kept coming back to me while I watched the moon. Henry Vaughan, 17th century Welsh poet, as quoted in Madeleine L’Engle’s “Ring of Endless Light.” Enjoy–
“I saw Eternity the other night, Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright.
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world, And all her train were hurled…”
“There is in God, some say, A deep but dazzling darkness: as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they see not all clear.
O for that Night, where I in Him
Might live invisible and dim.”