Spell of Rising Moon
Here is a hill near my home that I often climb at night.
The noise of the city is far-off murmur.
In the hush of the dar.
I share the cheer- fulness of crickets and confidence of owls.
But it is the drama of the moon rise that I come to see.
For that restores in me a quiet and clarity that the city spends too freely.
From this hill I have watched many moons rise.Each one has its own mood.
There have been broad,confident harvest moons in autumn;
shy,misty moons in spring;
lonely,white winter moons rising into the utter silence of an ink-black sky,
and smoke-smudged orange moons over the dry fields of summer.
Each,like fine music excited my heart and then calmed my soul.
We who live indoors have lost contact with the moon,
yet it still tugs at our minds.
If we unexpectedly encounter the full moon,huge and yellow over the horizon,
we are helpless but to stare back at its commanding presence.
And the moon has gifts to bestow upon those who watch.
I learned about its gifts one July evening in the mountains.
My car had mysteriously stalled,and I was stranded and alone.
The sun had set,and I was watching what seemed to be the bright-orange glow of a forest fire
beyond a ridge to the east.
Suddenly,the ridge itself,seemed to burst into flame.
Then,the rising moon huge and red
grotesquely mis- shapen by the dust and sweat of the summer atmosphere,
loomed up out of the woods.
Dogs at nearby farmhouses barked nervously,
as if this strange light had a wakened evil spirits in the weeds.
But as the moon lifted off the ridge it gathered firmness and authority.
Its complexion changed from red,to orange,to gold,to impressive yellow.
It seemed to draw light out of the darkening earth,
for as it rose, the hills and valleys below grew dimmer.
By the time the moon stood clear of the horizon,
full-chested and round and the color of ivory,
the valleys were deep shadows in the landscape.
The dogs,reassured that this was the familiar moon, stopped barking.
And all at once I felt a confidence and joy close to laughter.
And odd things happen in such moments.
On that July night,I watched the moon for an hour or two,
and then got back into the car,
turned the key in the ignition and heard the engine start,
just as mysteriously as it had stalled a few hours earlier.
I drove down from the mountains with the moon on my shoulder
and peace in my heart.