I See the Moon…and the Moon…
By John W. Vander Velden
Most nights before I turn in, I stroll in my back yard for a few minutes. On overcast nights I look up at the clouds that darken the night. Filling my yard with foreboding shadows. Sometimes on stormy nights I see lightning streak across the dark sky, or if the weather has moved away, flashes explode silently beyond the horizon, igniting the thunderheads in the distance. This week, once again, I heard the call of coyotes near and far. Many nights this summer I have heard katydids and tree frogs serenade the night.
Those walks are only brief moments, a time I get a bit of air, while Cloey, our little dog, does the same and more. But on clear nights I seek out the shadows, the places where the beam of our outside light does not reach. There I allow my eyes to study the heavens, the stars and the moon. We have had several clear nights this month, and I have watched the moon day to day. I understand the moon’s phases, the whys and hows. I understand the sequence of waxing and waning, of the moon’s apparent growth and shrinking. At October’s beginning I witnessed the thinnest crescent…just a silver sliver dangling above the neighbor’s fencerow. Each night I make a point of looking toward the growing moon a little higher in the western sky. It has passed its mid point now for it sets about an hour later each night.
I think about the moon. About the ageless travels it has made around our globe. I think about the uncountable generations that have pointed with awe at the great light of the night sky. The moon seems ever changing…but the important word here is seems. I am sure that the moon like everything else does change, but those variations are so slow, eons would pass before any of us might notice. But the moon waxes and wanes. Times it hides from us, but it does not really go away. The moon continues on its journey around the earth. It travels at the pace it has since before history and will do so long after I am a memory faded by time.
I take comfort in the moon. It reminds me that there are things bigger than I am. It reminds me that my problems may come and go…but the moon. You see the moon reminds me of GOD. Not that the moon is GOD, for it certainly is not! But the moon is a symbol of GOD’s power and majesty. GOD set the moon in motion, a beacon in the night sky, which always seems to be changing but is not. It’s we that have changed. Just as we see the moon through different phases, we view everything from a changing perspective. We shade our reality by what we believe is true at any given moment.
When I consider the moon, I think about the things that seem to be happening in my life. And know that things do change. But hidden within those changes are the constants. The rock solid things that really matter…love…good…and GOD. That no matter how things change those things never will. But the moon also teaches me to be open to change. To see within those changes the solid foundation I know is there.
I trust, when I wander the yard tonight the moon will be about fifteen degrees east of its position last night, whether I see it or not. Clouds might hide its face from me, but that does not mean it is not in the night sky. And so it is with my life. I trust that even in life’s changes GOD has a plan for me…today…and if he wills it, tomorrow. My job is to figure out what I should do to complete that plan. And when I figure that out, to do it. That when the moon sets in the wee hours and a new day arrives I tackle the changing tasks set before me. To do what I can to make the world, we share, a little better. And through my actions reveal GOD’s love by caring about people. It seems simple enough, but it isn’t. But the moon is growing and even when its phases lead toward its hiding, I should be growing. I should be taking the changes each day brings as another lesson about the constants that do not change.
So I see the moon and in it the constant of GOD’s power…and the moon sees me dealing with all the changes of my existence. Tomorrow comes and I will be ready….
(770 Words) 10–13–2016