The Voice of the Moon

The moon shines her silver fingers through my open window and gently touches my cheek. I open my eyes to see the time; it’s 3AM. I roll over, snuggle into my covers, and close my eyes again. But I can’t close out the moon’s invitation, her call to go outside and join her in the magic of the night.

I slip into a warm fleece jacket and muck shoes, leash Petra, and step into the night. Hovering over the high-reaching branches of the black locust tree, the moon moves in brilliant rhythm with Mars, her partner for tonight’s dance. The two of them shine so brightly they have the sky to themselves, other than the Big Dipper, who watches from his spot in the northern sky. I watch as the dancers flow with the cheerful music of the stream, or is that the voice of the moon, rich with the fullness of her joy?

A Catbird, perhaps confused by the silver light, sings continuously somewhere through the woods. In the distance a Barred Owl calls twice, as if to welcome me to his world. All else is still. Too cool for insects, there is no chirping of cricket or flash of firefly, just the stillness that reigns when the sun is down and the moon shines her silver light over the world.

The dance ends as the moon slips behind the trees, leaving the picnic table before me in shadow. I lay my pen down, no longer able to see my page, and sit quietly, savoring the darkness that thrums with silent life. Then, my visit over, I head back inside to snuggle into warm covers and dream of silver light and birdsong.

Moon Shine

(This painting is currently featured in my Etsy shop.)

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse September 2015

I turn off all the lights, step outside, and climb up onto the picnic table. Settling myself on the table, I look to the east, to the brilliant “supermoon” that hangs in the sky just above the roof of our house. The moon is “super” because it’s at the closest point of its orbit around the earth, making it appear 14% larger and 33% brighter than an ordinary full moon. But right now I don’t think in terms of percentages and numbers. Rather, I sit in quiet awe, wrapped in the softness of the night, marveling at the brilliant moon above and the striking shadows cast by its light here below.

The eclipse isn’t supposed to start for a while yet, but I want to still my soul and open my senses to the wonder of all that is, before I start recording the progression of the earth’s shadow across the face of the moon. Crickets chirp in the woods on all sides– at least three different species, based on the variety of pitches and patterns. I hear three lonely-sounding katydids, two in the direction of the stream, one off toward the woods on the high side of our yard. Most of their kin has gone the way of all the earth by this late in the season.
In the distance I hear an Eastern Screech Owl call once, then all is quiet, save for the music of crickets and katydids. I watch the moon as it slowly rises higher above the roof, tangling for a time in the branches of an ash tree. A broad, light cloud crosses in front of the moon, causing a reddish, rainbow-like effect to form a wide circle around the moon. A Barred Owl calls and calls again, just as the first hint of the earth’s shadow dips into the perfect circle of the moon. I pick up my pencil…
(Click the image to view it large enough to read. I recorded the progress of the eclipse in pencil, then added watercolor later.)
Supermoon eclipse sketches