My friend, the Moon

I have trouble sleeping at night. Most times, I don’t sleep at all.

There are moments when I feel more productive at night, like a night owl working — including writing this column —until the sun comes up.

But other times, I just lie in bed, unmoving, staring at a spot on the ceiling until my eyes hurt.

The moon is the only source of light I have in the room since I turn the lights off at night, which is most probably the reason I have bad eyesight.

And then there are times I would sneak out to the veranda and stare at the beautiful glow of the moon, kind of like in the Bruno Mars song but sans wanting to reach out and talk to the celestial body.

Because even if I don’t voice out my thoughts, I know the moon listens. It always does, I say to myself. Maybe that’s why I don’t necessarily feel alone at night or scared of the dark since I feel the moon is there to soothe me.

The moon stays with me until early morning when the gentle, warm rays of the sun shine through the window and illuminate my room at the start of a new day.

Brightest object in the sky

According the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite, the only place, aside from our planet, that humans have set foot in, and the brightest, largest object in the night sky.

When I was a kid, the moon is what followed our car when we traveled at night. Now it is like an old friend that witnesses my emotional breakdowns and keeps me company — glistening in my darkest nights.

On the evening of 26 May, people around the world stared at the beautiful moon, as the first total lunar eclipse, or the “Super Flower Blood Moon,” said hello after two years. (The last lunar eclipse happened on 21 January 2019.)

We were lucky enough to have glimpsed at the moon in its full, glorious beauty.

The spectacular sight lasted about 15 minutes.

The Super Flower Blood Moon is a result of a supermoon overlapping with a total lunar eclipse. According to NASA’s website, a supermoon appears when the moon reaches perigee or “is at or near its closest point to the Earth at the same time as it is full,” while a lunar eclipse “takes place when the earth is positioned directly between the moon and the sun.”

A lunar eclipse is also known as “blood moon” due to its orange-red hue caused by the sun’s light into the shadow cast by the Earth.

Meanwhile, the full moon in May is known as the “Flower Moon.” Thus, all these came to be known as “Super Flower Blood Moon.”

It is also the only total lunar eclipse to happen in 2021. The next one is on 16 May 2022.

The faint, mysterious glow that shrouds the moon from the great, great distance reflects the stories revolving around it and how it came to be, especially of the blood moon.

From tales of werewolves, to the health and fertility connection, to foretelling one’s future in connection with the alignment of the stars, to its perceived effect on people’s mood and behavior (“lunacy”) that is said to lead to violence and murder — all these are attributed to the moon and its various phases.

The moon likewise takes different forms. In Greek mythology, there’s the moon goddess Selene who drives a silver chariot across the night sky. There’s Mama Quilla for the ancient Incas and the Babylonian moon god Sim who has a beard of Lapiz Lazuli and rides a winged bull. And, of course, there’s the Man in the Moon.

I reflect on the wonders of the moon as I bask under its light on the veranda, the mosquitos nipping on my skin. It takes a few moments before I get back in my room. But before I go, I steal a glance at the moon. And look forward to seeing it again the following night.

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Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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