The Beauty of Moonwatching

The moon is 239,000 miles from me. And 4.47 billion years older than me.

I love that I can see this ancient, beautiful thing up, up, up in the sky for no more than the cost of tilting my head back.

And when I tilt back, lifting these eyes of mine which have accustomed themselves to staring down, I’m looking at a moon that has brought beauty to every problem, every grief I could throw at it.

What do I mean? I mean that on those nights when the hope in me has deteriorated or the heart in me has broken up, I have stared at the moon, watched the moon, demanded of the moon – irrationally and unreasonably – some kind of answer to all this.

At first, there is no answer. But I keep watching, because the moon is this ancient, beautiful thing that my eyes love to look up at.

Which is the closest thing the moon will give to an answer: That when our hope is rotting and our hearts are crumbling, we can still see and know beauty, even if it’s 239,000 miles away. Because we are capable of holding more than one truth in our souls – despair and beauty, love and loss, all at once.

There will be pain in life. And there will be beauty, too. Beauty that is seen and noticed, sensed and felt, given and received, experienced and remembered. And we will know a thing is beautiful when it can wake up a part of us that has fallen asleep.

Perhaps one of the greatest acts of kindness we can show ourselves is to find this beauty for ourselves, to keep it close at hand, to turn towards it when we are going to pieces.

For me, I’m finding it in a 4.47 billion-year-old globe that lives 239,000 miles from me.

May you, beautiful reader, find yours.

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