I love the Moon. I call her Luna, which is Latin for Moon, as I’m sure many do. Why do I love the Moon, though? What is it about this natural satellite that keeps my attention? Well, I’ll start by saying that I romanticize the hell out of it. I am fully aware that the Moon is an airless ball of rock, with a circumference of 10,921 km, orbiting our Earth at around 1 km/s. I know these things.
It doesn’t change how I see her.
During the night, when she is resplendent in her silver glow, a cloak of stars surrounding her, it just gives me this sense of peace, as if I could almost draw strength from her. Perhaps it is just in how we see the things we love, and how we react to their presence. There are so many poems about the Moon. Not so many about the Sun, I don’t think, and I’m not disparaging the Sun, because without it we wouldn’t be here, but the Moon just elicits this sense of awe and wonder. She’s not just a rock in space, she’s a silver pendant, an angel’s tear, a dewdrop suspended amongst the heavenly bodies. There’s something, well, magical about the Moon.
Yes, the Sun provides light in the day, but the night is Luna’s domain. She oversees everything that happens in her light. She is the shepherd of our dreams, the focus of our wishes, and hopes. She is a reassuring reminder that the night does not last forever, and that the Sun will rise again.
Am I ascribing sentient properties to that lunar body? Absolutely, but for me, the Moon is an intensely personal focal point. I’ve always felt that I am more alive at night, that when the Sun goes down, and the Moon has begun to rise, I am in my element. I prefer the darkness, but only when I have Luna as my companion in that night. Without her, I feel alone. She is my friend.
You know, when you think about the Sun, and the Moon, you begin to realize just why so many ancient cultures saw them as gods and goddesses, and while I don’t share their theological beliefs, I can only empathize with their respect, and worship, of those heavenly bodies. They are our closest guardians, our protectors. Sol, with his fierce visage, commanding the sky and striking fear into any evil; Luna, with her gentle, soothing presence, guiding us to our beds, and watching over us as we slept.
I’ll close with the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, from one of my very favorite artists:
“Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow”
“And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if… I won’t have to work no more.
And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if… I won’t have to cry no more.”
“Yes I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow”
“And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if… I won’t have to walk no more.
And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if… I won’t have to talk…”
“Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?”
“I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow”
(Moonshadow, by Cat Stevens)