One sad aspect of modern American life is our loss of the night. Most of us live in cities or suburbs where the light pollution blinds us to the awesome spectacle of the Milky Way and a full moon night just means the moon is a pretty, complete circle.
I live in the country but still close enough to a large city for a glow to perpetually light the southern horizon. All our street lights, house lights, and neon lights have tamed the night to its knees.
But, if you can, you should get away from the cities and towns and experience the real, wild night. I’m far enough out that city people can get a taste of it when they come to visit. One night, after a Halloween party at my house, a young boy walked out onto the front porch and yelled, “The night — it’s like a black wall!” It did appear that as soon as you stepped off the porch, you would smack yourself into a wall.
Recently, I couldn’t sleep and got up at 2 a.m. I saw the full moon was throwing deep shadows and went outside to see the strange phenomenon of shadows at 2 a.m. I could see clearly the neighbors’ tree line three acres away.
Moonlight is so strange. Because it is literally a pale reflection of sunlight, it seems familiar and alien at the same time. That’s how my yard looked under the full moon. I recognized everything in my yard and yet the moonlight made each object appear new and weird. It was a perfect setting for something magical or sinister to happen. City lights would have so diluted the moonlight that you wouldn’t have noticed anything different. I need to check the calendar for the next full moon.
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