Howl with me, people

My kids say I’m part werewolf, because I’m as moon-driven as the tides. When there’s a full moon, I like to be outside, under it.   There’s nothing quite so sublime as walking on a quiet beach under a full moon… except, of course, sledding in three feet of snow under a full moon with a pack of howling kids.

I took an astronomy class in college … for two weeks… until the hard math kicked in.  So I’ve always been vaguely interested in the sky, but it wasn’t until a trip to the beach eight years ago that my werewolf tendencies began to develop full-bent.

Then, I took a walk on the beach to temporarily escape the noise of the house. I wasn’t a moonie then.  Didn’t check the calendar for full moons … didn’t even know they each had names.  But, the moon rose, glorious in size and splendor, while I walked at the ocean’s edge, and I was equally entranced and bewildered.

Entranced at the beauty of the thing, its perfect rough roundness, its ghostly ascent.

Bewildered that so few people were on the shore  to watch as the silver rays lit up the beach. It seemed as though people should be pouring onto the beach, trying to get a glimpse, pushing each other like Walmart shoppers trying to get in the door on Black Friday.

But it was just me and a handful of quiet others; walking, sitting, wading.  Baptism at the feet.

I sat on an aged wood groin, crossed my legs, and watched the moon until my neck hurt.  It seemed to be admiring me back.  We gazed at each other with the rapture and intensity of lovers cruelly separated by 238,000 miles.

Inside the beautiful homes that lined the ocean-front avenue, I could see the flickering lights of TVs.  People were sitting on plush leather sofas staring at screens, something they could do the rest of the month, the rest of the year, the rest of their lives, for that matter.  All the while, steps outside, the universe was putting on the greatest show off earth.

It seemed a venial sin.

That night, I became a moonie, planning walks, runs, even vacations around the full moon. When it’s a supermoon, unusually large, I pile the kids in the car in their pajamas, and we drive to the nearest horizon, sit on the hood of the car and take turns with the binoculars. Thoreau was the “self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms.”  We inspect the moon.

It’s never once failed to pass inspection, even in Massachusetts.

But despite all this, don’t think I’m totally obsessed with the moon.

I’m unfaithful, equally enamored of another.

The sun, of course.


  1. It must have just come up. Most people have never seen an actual moon rise … the seconds that it first emerges on the horizon and looks ablaze, more so next to the ocean. (Cancer — so happy belated birthday!)

  2. I feel exactly the same way. We live very close to the beach….one night on my way home not too long ago, I could see the moon hanging HUGE and ORANGE over the ocean. Rather than go home, I followed it, parked my car and just sat on the beach alone staring. Why wasn’t anyone else out there? I have had this attraction to the moon since the first time I remember seeing it. At the risk of sounding flaky…I attribute it to the month I was born-July. Cancers adore the moon!!!

  3. Oh I love this! I’m a moonie, too🙂. And a sunset-chaser with my camera (with kids sighing heavily in the back seat of the car saying “can we just go HOME”) haha
    And I have been known to wake them up at 3 am in the middle of winter to watch incredible meteor showers…
    Skywatching is so cool. Great blog, waxing poetic lol!

  4. no worries, there’s always plenty of space. I guess I shouldn’t complain about that, eh? But you’ll be too late — full moon 8-1.

  5. We’re kindred spirits Jennifer. I TOTALLY get this! Thanks for pointing it out, but hold back, will ya? I’m going to the coast next week and had hoped to have the beach (and the moon) to myself every night!

  6. ”The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork!” Psalm 19. More often than not, we become anesthetized with the mundane. Thank you for reminding us to draw aside from the ”cotton candy” of life and hopefully. draw near to the Creator.

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