There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “supermoon” that made its dramatic appearance this weekend. Some have connected the supermoon to potential disasters—more earthquakes, tsunamis, and certainly more people driving recklessly. I admit it’s a scientific fact that the moon’s magnetic pull is stronger as it comes closer to the earth. But I still find it difficult to imagine the moon as a menacing force. For one thing, my yoga studies have taught me that in times of the full moon the potential for healing is greater. And then there’s that guy up there, who’s always been my friend.
Let’s just say that when I was a kid, we were a little bit moon crazy in my house. My father often lifted me up onto his shoulders and stepped outside on the porch so that I could say goodnight to the moon before I reluctantly went to bed. Saying goodnight to the “man in the moon” was a ritual that signaled that yes, it really was bedtime (it wasn’t until many years later that I discovered the book, Goodnight Moon, and read it to my children). On cold nights we’d search for the bright winter moon through the windows. Much ado was made about the friendly nature of the moon; certainly it was nothing to be afraid of. (Recently, my college-aged son played me a video clip of a Conan O’Brien show featuring a doctored photo of the moon with Charlie Sheen’s face on it. Now that was scary.)
My dad also had a habit of insisting that the moon was made of green cheese. As a child, I always found this a lot harder to swallow than the idea that there really was a man up there. When my father died 23 years ago, I bought myself a pair of sterling silver moon earrings in his memory. I still think of him every time I wear them.
So, grim predictions notwithstanding, I’m going to stick with my vision of the moon as my father introduced it: a mysterious, unknowable, but friendly sphere. A beautiful white orb, a healing, hypnotic enigma that can inspire us to live more fully, to begin anew, to take life in cycles and steps, and to know that we will one day wane even as we wax, and that we will one day wax even though we are waning: A friend, an observer, an advisor, a brilliant reflection of our lives hanging right over our heads, eternally.
Yes, I’m a romantic when it comes to the beautiful moon. And I don’t see that there’s any other way to be.