The harvest moon

September 9th, 2014

Last night, I arrived home at about 7:30 p.m. Awaiting dinner with my wife, I perched myself in my well-worn, comfortable chair on my back porch. From this comfortable setting I often watch the moon emerge from the lower branches of the tree on its nightly pilgrimage across the sky – its presence influenced by the fullness or absence of cloud cover, and its shape determined by its solar trajectory. Over the years I have watched its path change with the seasons. As if directed by some divine chorographer, this earth companion tiptoes across the sky in orderly fashion displaying a swath of light everywhere it goes.

Last night it was different. I was alerted to the something different even before the moon made its appearance. There was no thunderous sound, no announcement but something big was about to burst upon the earth. I watched as this enormous full-circle ball of light unhurriedly edged its way through the branches penetrating the darkness with a celebrating brightness. It was huge. It lit up the sky as it rose from the horizon. There was something unwavering about its path. It knew where it was going. Last night, the Harvest Moon was queen of the heavens. It reigned in regal glory.

I sat and watched its climb. Little by little it cleared the trees, and my entire backyard was covered with its beauty.

As I watched I was drawn into a deep reflection as to what was going on. Moonlight is everything the poets and singers make it out to be. But the moon has no light. What I saw last night were rays from an earth-spent sun bouncing off the surface of the moon toward the earth. The moon is a reflection of something else. Far behind the moon is a power and life-giving something expressing itself through one of its solar travelers.

How like us. We are the reflection of forces and powers beyond ourselves. For sure, we trot our personal assets before the public with confidence and hope. But like the moon, we have been gifted with a light from above. The character of our presence and the brightness of our abilities are not self-generated commodities, but we can allow a life-changing light to bounce off us onto the world.

There are not a lot of Harvest Moons. Most of us are not of the red carpet folks, but we have been invited to be participants.

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