22 September 2002
(since I'm going to Sacramento tonight and spending the night prior to the
AIDS walk tomorrow, I'm posting this early)
When Cindy and I returned home from our ride yesterday, there was a
huge harvest moon, glowing a deep orange, setting in the west. I was sorry that I didn't
have my camera with me.
On the news last night, they spoke of the full moon and how it would
be at its fullest at 6:39 a.m. That's all the encouragement I needed. I strapped on my
Darth Vader helmet, packed my camera and my new cell phone into my Australian backpack, and the Blue
Angel and I headed out onto the bike path, determined to get out to the open fields by the
time the moon was at its peak.
I've always loved the moon. I love a huge full moon (even when it
used to make the kids crazy. I know that "moon madness" thing is controversial,
but anybody with children can tell you that if they are all going berserk, all you have to
do is check the calendar, and sure as shooting, it's probably a full moon.)
I also love the sliver of a brand new moon, especially in a dark sky
with the eastern star twinkling at its tip.
There was a time when the moon scared me. When I was a child, we had
this series of books of children's stories that my parents would read to us from. Stories
like "Bozo the Button Buster" and the story of a cat that ate so much it
exploded. But one of the stories depicted the man in the moon as--as I remember it--an old
indian chief wearing bright white garments. A little kid puts dirty hands on the garment
and what we see as craters on the moon are really dirty handprints (this was before 1969
and Neil Armstrong, obviously!)
The Indian chief must have been angry with the child because after I
was read that story, my father was carrying me up the back stairs of our house. The moon
was full and the craters clearly visible and I remember being terrified.
But I wasn't terrified today as I rode out into the dark headed out
into the country to get a good view of the moon. I rode through the well lit bike path
and out into the countryside.
It was so dark, not even the rabbits were out in the
fields. I didn't flush any doves from their nests. There were no cars on the road. The
only sound was from roosters just waking up.
It started getting light in the east while the moon was still slowly
setting in the west. I felt like I was standing on the edge between day and night.
Eventually, after I'd gone about 6½ miles, the moon began its
descent behind the Vaca mountains. For a few brief moments it glowed a bright orange and
gave me the show I had come to see.
I watched until the moon had disappeared behind the mountains
Then it was time to turn my wheels back toward home. As I reached
Covell Blvd, the sun was rising and casting shafts of light down on the bike path.
It was really a lovely morning.