Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Voice of the Super Moon

Did you see it last night?  The Super Moon?  Or was it the “Blood,” “Wine,” “Hunter’s” or “Harvest” moon?  By whatever name you might give it, it was a spectacular sight here in the northern hemisphere.   It was certainly super!  A Super Moon is a full moon very close to the earth, which makes it look 14% larger than the usual full moon, called a Micromoon (further from the earth).  In autumn the full moon is often called the Harvest moon because it coincides with the harvesting of crops and this year that harvest moon happened to be a Super Moon.  It is sometimes called the “Blood” or “Wine” moon because of its bold orange, almost red color.  It is called the “Hunter’s” moon because its brightness prevented the deer, fox, etc., from hiding from the hunter in olden days.  There you have it!  Did you see it?  

I saw the Super, Blood, Wine, Hunter’s and Harvest moon both last night and again this morning before dawn and before the fog settled in.  What a sight!  It called forth all kinds of thoughts.  In childhood I was told the moon was made of green cheese.  (A fanciful proverb which “refers to the perception of a simpleton who sees a reflection of the moon in water and mistakes it for a round cheese wheel”).  In July 1969, I watched (with half a billion people on television) Neil Armstrong step on that cheese wheel and proclaim: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  And I thought how far we have traveled since then in terms of space exploration and our expanding knowledge of what is out there in the “great somewhere.”

Lyrics of various songs flooded into my mind as I looked with wonder at this Super Moon.  How many songs have referenced the moon?  I recall my grandmother singing “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,” and my mother singing, “The Moon shines bright on my old Kentucky Home.” I remember the little ditty we use to sing at Scout Camp, “Oh Mr. Moon, moon, Bright and shiny moon, Won't you please shine down on me? Oh Mr. Moon, moon, Bright and shiny moon, Won't you come out behind that tree?”  I thought of Psalm 8:3, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;” and Psalm 74:16, “The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun,” and the words of St. Francis Assisi, “O sister moon with silver gleam!” and “ye lights of evening, find a voice!”  The moon last evening and this morning found its voice and spoke to me.  What did the moon say?  I’ve tried to tell, but my words fail.

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