“Tonight the moon came up, it was nearly full
Way down here on Earth, I could feel its pull
The weight of gravity, or just the lure of light
Made me want to leave my only home tonight…….”
~Mary Chapin Carpenter
Did you see the moon last night? My lovely calendar with equally lovely words had told me to expect a ‘Snow Moon’. I had read that teaser in the early morning but had forgotten about it. Fixing dinner in my kitchen, I was focusing on chopping and dicing when I sensed a pull on my attention. I turned around to see the most amazing yellow orb making its way up the dome of the sky out my window. The deep blue night sky and the jet black silhouettes of black walnut branches framed the golden disk with perfection. I was stopped in my movements by a beauty and awe that took my breath away. I threw on my coat and headed outdoors so I could breathe in the air that held such a sight.
I spent the evening tracking the movement of this Snow Moon. As it rose higher and higher in the sky, it lost some of its golden hue trading it in for the purest white. Driving in my car toward the horizon that held it, I marveled that I have the privilege to be alive under such a moon. In my head this little snippet of the Mary Chapin Carpenter song floated providing a winter soundtrack. I had indeed felt the pull of this amazing moon and I also had to leave my home to get as pure a view of it as possible. It felt like a sacred act to me.
Perhaps sacred sights like this one come to us when we need them. Certainly there were countless other people who did not have the experience of the pull of this moon. But its sighting was a reminder to me of the vast Universe of which I am a tiny speck. So many times I behave as if I am at its center! The lure of the light of this moon assured me that its glow was so much bigger than anything I could imagine and that same glow was for all the little specks just like me. If we have the eyes to see. If we pay attention to the pull.
I was intrigued by the name Snow Moon. Doing some research I learned that it is the name given to the full moon of February in North America because the light of this full moon will probably fall on lots of places with snow. Amen to that. Whatever it is called, it was a beautiful sight.
Sometimes we have experiences, ordinary, every day experiences that nudge (or pull) us to remember how fabulous it is to be human. Fabulous and fragile. Last night as I felt the pull of the moon, something tugged in my chest. It was the deep tug of knowing that this gift of seeing the moon will not always be mine. Or yours. That knowing connected me with all those I have known who no longer glimpse the moon in the way I was able to do at that moment. Gift. Pure gift.
This morning I went searching for the lyrics to the Mary Chapin Carpenter song. Its title? ‘Between Here and Gone’. It is a melancholy song about where we find home,not leaving things undone that are important and the fact that, indeed, we all live someplace between here and gone.