Three years ago the cycles of the moon were far from the top of my mind. What, with streetlights, headlights, traffic lights, the lights at Wrigley, or even the lights shining out of my neighbor’s kitchen window, my bustling city was alive with color and light 24 hours a day.
Several days a week I went for morning runs, oftentimes up an hour before the sun made its lengthy climb to the top of the sky. And though the sun had yet to rise, I never concerned myself with anything more than the reflectors on my shoes and running vests, as I knew that the headlights on the cabs whizzing down the darkened street would make me glow, announcing my presence to their drivers.
Up here in the High Country, where power outages are bi-monthly occurrences and streetlights are nearly unheard-of, the cycles of the moon play an integral part in our daily lives.
On evenings where the New Moon is nestled deep in the night sky, it is as though the moon has extinguished all that is left of the shadows of the day. It buries the Earth’s surface in a blanket of darkness so thick it feels as though you are swimming through an ocean of black, unable to see but a few feet in front of you, feeling your way down the street lead only by your sense of touch and your sense of smell. On nights like this, the stars are on full display, drawing your gaze upwards to witness them dance and twinkle their way across the indigo sky, a trail of star-dust left in their wake.
The darkness of the New Moon is followed by the light of the Full. Where the New Moon extinguishes the shadows left by the day, the Full Moon creates shadows of its own, reflecting on and bouncing off of anything that intercepts its rays. The Full Moon enshrouds the mighty peaks in a glowing cape of yellow light, reflecting off of the snow and illuminating the clouds. On nights like these, I lay in bed and bathe in the soft glow of the moon settling in above my window; letting it wrap me in a gentle embrace, caressing and soothing as I am lulled to sleep.