Whether I’m scrolling through landscape photographs on Tumblr, or I’m getting out of my car with an arm-full of late-night Target finds, I will always, without fail, stop and look around to find the moon. If I’m out and about with anyone at any given time while the moon is visible, you can bet your knickers I will be shouting “Hey check out the moon!”
From connecting with the beauty of the bright sky in the daytime to pondering the hidden mysteries that lie among the infamous dark side of the moon in the middle of the night, all I really have to say for myself is that I’m such a “look at the moon” kind of person.
When I say “I’m such a ‘look at the moon’ person,” I literally cannot take my eyes off of it. We’re all guilty of taking Earth’s night light for granted but the moon is something I’m severely passionate about. I went to Sun-N-Fun where a bunch of amateur astronomers had their homemade telescopes out and invited me to look. I climbed up a ladder and laid my eyes on not only Jupiter in all its massive, ringed glory but four of its moons! I’m not talking about looking at a planet where it just looks like a super bright star and you’re like “huh, cool.” The moons were fully spherical like they were just as far away as our own moon. And I cried. I actually had tears running down my face and honestly, I couldn’t explain the feeling I had in my chest (which I later realized was passion).
I received a telescope as a wedding gift and danced around on the balls of my feet while my husband set it up for me. I couldn’t contain my excitement that I would finally be able to see the moon in massive detail on demand. My hubby even fully prepared for the event by placing a tissue box next to my wine glass. Needless to say, I needed it.
Remember that scene from Apollo 13 where Tom Hanks is covering and uncovering the moon with his thumb? I finally understand; for those who will never become astronauts, the thought of something bigger rarely becomes more than just, well, a thought. But the reality of it is that people have literally walked on it. Insanely far from Earth. Like they do in the movies. Mind = obliterated. It’s awe-inspiring to think that you can lay your naked eyes on something so barren and distant yet mystically beautiful.
It’s about more than just the moon, though.
We hear people express their wonder all the time: “I wonder if there’s any life out there?” “I wonder how big the universe really is?” “What are stars made out of?” These are really just the menial questions humanity asks in the search for that bigger explanation of life. At the risk of sounding hippy-dippy (I’m not really religious nor a flower-wearing hippie), we are all stardust. We’re a bunch of star babies that have somehow evolved to create a complex society of memes, tweets, and shitty budget meetings; such a micro level of existence has to make the vastness of everything beyond Earth that much more intriguing.
The MOON GROUNDS ME.
I can easily be wrapped up in my life, and no matter how depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed I may be, all it takes is one glimpse of that beauty to put reality into devastatingly clear perspective. It’s like watching a movie that starts off showing a stressed executive on his way to an important meeting. Then the camera pans out to the street traffic and up to the surrounding trees on the street. It continues out to an aerial of the neighborhood, to the city’s skyline, through the clouds, past a screaming baby on a plane, and finally up into the dark vacuum of space. We are SO TINY, it’s utterly magnificent.
The next time you’re out at night and have a clear view, really, really take a good look at the moon. When you finally realize how serendipitous our existence really is, life becomes a little simpler. It’s easier to let go of the trivial and embrace the meaningful experiences we take for granted, so if you really think about it, we’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye. If you ever lose yourself in the moment, just be calm and “look at the moon.”
Collaboration with Cassandra Vella.
Feature Image via Unsplash