Thursday, February 21, 2008

Moon Walk

Whenever the moon is nearly full, I think of my friend, Nance. Two summers ago, she and I happened to take a walk one evening under a full moon. It was so beautiful. The next month, we went inner tubing by the light of the full moon. It was a flimsy pattern at that point, but it stuck. We have continued to try to get together every month to enjoy a little conversation outdoors under a full moon.

It doesn't always happen, of course. Some months the moon is hidden behind clouds or the weather is really nasty. Some months one of us is out of town, or sick, or just too busy.

But we think of it every month now. Sometimes all we can get in is a phone call; and sometimes, there is no contact at all. But I think of it, and I know she does too. We both lead full lives, so we don't get together often, but when we do, the conversation is rich and deep and refreshing. So when a night seems especially bright (remember we live in a very rural area, so night is usually very dark), I feel a little bit of excitement knowing that the moon is nearly full and I have an excuse to have to find time for a visit with my friend.

Last night, we had a special treat; a total lunar eclipse. Did you see it? It was spectacular! I almost missed it, as I was tired--very tired--from three nights in a row of poor sleep. She called me, of course, to see if I wanted to come over and take a walk up the hill by her house, and I nearly turned her down. I was really wiped out. But then I remembered: these opportunities are rare; this might even be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I should take it.

When we tubed the river under the full moon, two summers ago, we had thoughts of trying to do it every chance we could. But thinking about it further, we realized that in June the river is running too high. In July and August, the river is usually just right and the weather is warm, but there could be clouds or vacations or sickness or whatever. The other months are too chilly for nocturnal river activity. So there are only two possible days per year that we could enjoy tubing by the light of the full moon, and plenty of reasons that those days might not work. We have done it once so far, and it may not ever happen again, but we will always remember that one time--and smile.

This past November, the full moon shone brightly from a cloudless sky over a blanket of deep snow--fluffy powder so dry that it didn't weigh anything or get pants or shoes the slightest bit damp--no need for snow gear. The dry snow sparkled like crushed diamonds in the icy cold air. It was incredible. I asked Ruth, my sis-in-law, to go for a walk with me. She was tired and it was cold (only three degrees fahrenheit) and she tried to put me off, insisting that we would have another chance later in the winter. But I have learned: another chance might never come. She was glad I dragged her along. It was stunningly beautiful.

Life is short and uncertain, folks. Take the opportunities set before you. Enjoy the world around you and the people you love.

I don't want to miss the beauty that God might have for me. These full moon walks are helping me learn. Seize the day.


Dan said...

Nice sentiments Sherry--thanks for posting them.

I did see the lunar eclipse, though I almost missed it. I saw it when it was in total shadow, and as the fingernail of white light slowly grew as the moon left our shadow.


alison said...

Paul and I watched it with Christopher and I planned to blog about it. I almost called you last night. Glad you didn't miss it. It was so beautiful.

Interestingly enough I had some similar thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I agree Sherry!
Uncle Ed