It’s there, a constant, even when I can’t see it, hanging out over my shoulder. It follows me around as it changes form, exerts its influences on the tides, and even becomes invisible.
As our students learn more about the solar system and space, I realize how little I really know about these things myself. Of course I know the names of the planets and some basic information about them. I know that the sun is our star and that our solar system is heliocentric. I know that scientists continually update their own understandings about space and its celestial inhabitants…that Pluto has been demoted and a new solar system was recently discovered.
But honestly, it’s the moon that fascinated me. I love that it appears large and low, orange like a pumpkin at some times of the year. I’m fascinated by that Cheshire cat smile that greets me on a dark, clear night. And I can’t resist those slender crescents that seem to wink into view in the warm, short nights of summer. I constantly wonder at its presence during the day…and today was one such day.
I looked up during my walk this afternoon, the sky was particularly blue as the sun shone brightly. This is really the first warm day we’ve had in a while. Tucked under the large palm, there it sat…not as bright as in the dark of night, but noticeable all the same.
I’ve struggled to photograph the moon effectively at night, but during the day, I’ve had a bit more luck. But that doesn’t mean I will stop trying to take a portrait of this friend of mine. I like knowing the moon is right over my shoulder, a constant companion I can depend on, even when I can’t see it and even when I can’t photograph it. It’s there, and that’s enough.