It was dark when I got up—still fully night, lacking even an inkling of what purported to be morning, at 5:30 a.m. on this twenty-third day of March. A fact, I irritatingly reminded myself, recently exacerbated by being compelled, once again, to instigate that national bit of self-delusion known as Daylight Savings Time.
As I made my way from the bedroom, I noticed an unfamiliar streak of light on the hallway floor ahead. Hmmm…had Myladylove installed another of those little plug-in nightlights she favors? She's like the Johnny Appleseed of nightlights. If left unchecked, she would stick one in every wall outlet in the house.
While I don't mind a few here and there, I'm a bit disconcerted when a room starts looking like the Vegas Strip. I keep insisting that when you can read a newspaper without turning on a regular light, you've overdosed on nightlights. If I'm feeling lucky, I try and sneakily unplug a few…all in the spirit of friendly sparring.
However, after a moment's glance, I realized the odd light in the hallway wasn't coming from some new, surreptitiously-placed plug-in. Rather, I recognized the pale illumination as a friendly daub of moonlight. What seemed to be a lot of moonlight. Worth investigating before starting the kettle for breakfast coffee and tea.
The cottage's great room faces the river, which along this stretch flows north to south. Thus the building's end is oriented almost due west. Perfectly in line to allow the setting moon to shine first into the room's peak-high pair of triangular clerestory windows, and as it dropped steadily lower toward the horizon, into the series of tall lower windows. This later, lower-angled light can pass across the room, through the kitchen, and paint its pearlescent glimmer down the length of the hall.
It also furnished light aplenty for me to easily make my way through the house to the door, where I stepped out onto the deck.
The westering moon was just beginning to pass behind the heavy fringe of huge sycamores covering the island across from the cottage. A doubtless bright full moon, though one now diffused by a scrim of fog that softened its glow. The water's moving surface, a living mirror, danced with scattered highlights.
I'd forgotten the moon would be full—though I did remember this was the so-called Worm Moon of Native American lore. According to the Book of Genesis, God hung the moon on the fourth day of His creation, a "lesser light to rule the night." And rule it does, still. Boldly, beautifully. The ancient, storied granddaddy of all nightlights.
I pondered that as I enjoyed this lambent marvel…reflected light from our distant home star, come down from the vast darkness of space to find its way through the tangle of sycamore branches, across the stream, before spilling into my humble cottage and washing down the hall.
A genuine wonder amid the morning dark.