Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moon Shadows

Startled from a deep sleep last night, I looked around to see what had awoken me.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary except the power was off due to an earlier storm and at the Oregon Coast, power outages are not exactly out of the ordinary.  Surprised by the amount of light coming through the window though, I got up and looked out.  There were no lights on as far as the eye could see.  When I looked up, I saw the skies had cleared-- except for a few soft white clouds, several stars were shining and the big full moon was directly overhead.  There was no ambient light coming from town and the moon was the sole source of illumination.  Wandering about the house, I peered out each window looking in all directions.  There didn’t seem to be any other humans or animals stirring.  

The light from the moon was so bright it made intricate shadows on the ground crisply outlining the trees and plants.  The same moon that I had written about in my evening blog was indeed putting on a show on this rare night.  Perhaps I had mocked Mother Nature and was now invited to get a firsthand look at her 11-11-11 ritual. 

Then I noticed a tree in the backyard was ablaze with light. The birch tree, which had lost all its leaves, is now adorned with huge puffs of lichen.  Tonight, each puff of lichen appeared to be glowing from within with a hot, white light.   When the moon temporarily went behind a cloud, the tree returned to normal and then as soon as the cloud passed, the tree lit up again with hundreds of bright lights.   I gazed at the spectacle for a very long time ruminating on all sorts of possible explanations, while not ruling out magic.  My eyes finally became too droopy and it was time to return to sleep.  

When I got up this morning, the power was on, the coffee was brewing, the sky was obscured by clouds and rain and the town folk were busily going about their daily errands.  The world I had witnessed a few hours earlier had vanished.  It is, however, a night I will never forget.

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