Two unlikely friends sit side by side, in deck chairs that we carried to a quiet, unlit side street, facing an open field and distant low hill snaking down to the Southern Ocean. Perfect front row seats to watch the spectacle unfold. One a retired Anglo-Australian in her 70s whose family has been in the country many generations and myself a first generation Sri-Lankan Australian in my 30s. United by our love of the more than human world.
For a few moments we let ourselves be distracted by the starry sky that is so much clearer away from the veiling effect of street lights. Then the gentle glow cresting a dip in the hills claims our attention. Entranced we gaze at the brightening with quiet anticipation. This is not the all encompassing light of a sunrise, which I am more familiar with. Instead it is a more contained, subtle arriving. As we watch the blue-white halo that first peaks up over the hills slowly gives way to a sharp ray of yellower light followed by a large semi-circular brilliance. Hesitant almost, the moon bobs its way into view.
Quietly and reverently we take in yellowish near full orb that emerges to light the night. As it climbs higher the moon appears to gain a confidence in its path, sailing now surely and swiftly higher and higher into the sky. Only once it has gained a height and surety in its cosmic travels do we pick up our chairs and head home to our beds, leaving the moon to light the foraging of nocturnal creatures.
I wake the next day and cross the sand dunes on my way for a morning walk and see the moon still lingering over the ocean. Now much diminished – smaller and paler- in the presence of the mighty sun.
How many moonrises have you watched? Or sunrises or sunsets for that matter? There is so much free beauty around outside of the flat screens we spend increasing amounts of time on.
One of my intentions moving into the new year is to make time to be present to the changes in days and months and seasons, things like a sunset or full moon or the rain after a hot spell. This is a way for me to connect to the world around me and hopefully learn how to live better with the specificities of what makes my little part of the Earth what it is (or what it could be without the prison of concrete and imposed landscaping). It is also something that I increasingly need to do to feel grounded and well in myself.
As part of this I will be occasionally sharing my musings on the world around me. I hope it sparks in you a similar desire to go out and connect with our more-than-human world.