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By the Light of the Silvery Moon

August 23, 2023

Is there a heavenly body more referenced in song and story than the moon? From our babies' first book (Goodnight Moon) on, seems like everyone has weighed in about our orbiting companion. I have to admit that I’m usually observing the moon in the wee hours of the morning, due to the Farmer’s Hours I keep (I’ll be right back! I have to milk the goats!) But in the summer, I am hyper-aware of the different phases of the moon because of their effect on the tides. Not that I swim anymore, but I do still love a good sandbar (as do Aiden and Peter), and the wide open spaces of a full moon sandbar are the BEST (sadly, they only occur twice a summer while we’re in Lewes). 

While I cheered the various moon landings back in the day, it was a bit of a letdown to actually see how cold and barren the surface was; I mean, I wasn’t expecting cheese, green or any other variety, but this had all the visual appeal of a big, pockmarked boulder. The men ON the moon bounced along, kicking up dry dust, so much less glamorous than the mythical Man IN the Moon. Then I learned that many other planets are orbited by moons as well, so our one singular sensation maybe isn’t so sensational after all. Why, Saturn is encircled by 145 of them (what a showoff!) I can imagine the new ditties being penned by talented Saturnites: “Fly Us to The Moons”, “Moon Rivers” (or is it “Moons River”?) “I’m Being Followed by (Many) Moonshadows.”

It took me years to figure out that the moon also had an impact on my moods. City girl that I am, I rarely registered much of the natural world at all. But, especially since my bipolar diagnosis, I do observe a certain—restlessness that overcomes me when the moon is full and bright. Friends who work in ERs also report an uptick in admissions then, more fights leading to injuries, more psychotic episodes, etc. It’s as if everything is bigger then, stronger, more obvious. The glow illuminates everything, including our darker impulses and aspects. I can only imagine how we humans would react to 145 full moons—watch out, solar system!

I’ll leave it to the scientists to parse out exactly why this happens. For me, it is enough to be reminded once more that we are all intimately connected to, and within, the universe. We write about the moon, we sing about the moon, we are also made of moon stuff. My yoga teacher Pattie tells us to reach for some moon dust, and cradle it in our anjali mudra (prayer hands), as a way to recognize and honor who we are.

So let’s sing a chorus of “Shine on Harvest Moon,” chomp on a Moon Pie, and catch an episode of Sailor Moon. Let’s salute our faithful buddy in the sky, however it appears tonight.

Moonatics, the lot of us!

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    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: www.eliseseyfried.com or email me at eliseseyf@gmail.com.

     

     

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