Wednesday, July 20, 2005

. . . up above the world so high. . . .

This picture does not do the moon justice. Tonight, the moon is full and round and so shining silver it's almost blinding. It's still windy, and a little cloudy, and the combination of wind, and clouds, and full silver moon is breathtaking.

No matter where I stood tonight, and no matter what 'framed' the moon, it was beautiful. It was beautiful in the parking lot of the grocery store. It was beautiful between tall tree-tips in the parking lot of the college. And it followed me all the way home, except when I followed it. Now I am home, and the moon is just above the tallest trees in the woods back of the house, and it is still beautiful.

I love it when clouds brush across the moon. No wonder the ancients both revered and feared it; even now there is something mysterious about the moon. It evokes romance, and wonder, and craziness, and werewolves, and shadows when the stars are out.

When I was a little kid, living in town, I used to lie on top of the car (hey, there were no bugs there!) and watch the stars and the moon through a pair of pink plastic toy binoculars. I was crazy for a telescope, but I never dreamed I'd really get one. Good old Santa; he came through that year, and I was wordless with ecstasy. I still have that telescope; it lives in the corner behind the sofa in the living room. I used it for years; my kids used it; I still use it. The tripod is a little loose now but the telescope is still perfect. Santa's greatest gift EVER. Thank you, Dad. You did well.

I hope all you parents are teaching your children about the night sky. Every star, every constellation, every planet, everything up there has a story, an incredible story that will grab your child's interest and never let go. And with just a pair of pink plastic binoculars, your child can see craters on the moon, planets that are ROUND (at certain times of the year) and a few of Jupiter's moons. You can show your child that the stars all twinkle, but the planets simply shine. Most of these things can be seen with the naked eye. It doesn't take big money to explore the sky; it just takes patience and a toy.

Take your child outside late at night in the fall and spring, to see the meteor showers. Wish on the falling stars; there are so many then that some of the wishes are bound to come true; it's just one more little thing to help make childhood magical.

And after your kids are grown and gone, and hopefully looking at the night sky from their own balconies and backyards, you can still look up and see the man in the moon looking down, and grinning at you, and blowing you a kiss and saying "You did well, old lady with your pink plastic binoculars and your insatiable curiosity and imagination. You did well, because you passed them along to your kids, who will pass them along to their kids, and so on."

Never stop looking up. There's always something there, shining down on you.

(Look down once in a while, though. Otherwise, you might trip on something and fall on your face.)

Oh, and tell Santa to bring your kid a telescope. You'll never be sorry.

A telescope on a tripod. Otherwise it's too hard to keep focus on one thing at a time.

"How I wonder what you are" indeed.

Oh, and Jim over at Patriside rocks. But you all already knew that.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:19 AM | |


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