I have to admit, when my alarm went off at 5:10 a.m. today, I was not bursting with enthusiasm for the morning yoga class I planned to attend. For a minute or two I considered closing my eyes and skipping the whole thing. But I knew I’d feel better about my day if I started it with some deep breathing and yoga stretches. So, I headed out.
I got to the garage only to find I had the wrong car keys. I dropped my yoga mat — the very same one I’d need to put my face down on in a few minutes — onto the dirty garage floor. It was just one of those mornings. I headed toward the YMCA grumbling under my breath and listening to Derek and the Dominoes sing Layla.
And then I turned the corner and gasped. Really. There, right in front of me, was a full moon so big, so low, and so perfect that it took my breath away. And suddenly my entire mood, my entire day took a turn for the better. I smiled the whole way to the Y, thrilled every time there was a clearing through the trees and the moon came back into view. As I turned into the Y, with no cars coming in either direction, I just waited in the road for a minute, soaking in one last look.
As I got out of the car, I found myself whispering a prayer of thanks — for the unexpected beauty, for the wake up call when I was allowing minor inconveniences to color my day, for the reminder of the awesomeness of God’s great creation. I wish I’d had my camera with me, but, to be honest, no picture could have done it justice.
I’ve always felt a connection to the moon, more so than the sun. What? You find that odd. Yes, I’m odd. Seeing that moon today reminded me of a little moon-inspired reflection I’d scribbled into a journal long ago, a sort of Ode to the Moon. My version, I guess, of St. Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. (So many reasons to love that saint.)
To this day I can remember that night almost 20 years ago, when I felt surprised by and drawn to the moon in much the same way as I did this morning. Back then I was walking home from the train after a long day of work, guided through the local cemetery and empty parking lot by a sliver of crescent moon and the clearly visible dark side. (My favorite part of the moon. Of course. If you’re going to be wacky, be wacky all the way.)
I know I’ll remember today’s moon with the same clarity, not only because it was so beautiful but because it arrived on my horizon at just the right moment.
Have you ever had a moment like that, when some glimpse of beauty or wonder has caught you by surprise and lifted you up? What thing in nature speaks powerfully to you?
Here’s the song Canticle of the Sun to start your Friday and set the tone for your weekend.
“The heavens are telling the glory of God,
And all creation is shouting for joy!
Come, dance in the forest, come, play in the field,
And sing, sing to the glory of the Lord!”