As a grade school student, I listened with my whole heart and soul to what the nuns taught me. So, imagine my surprise when Sister Rosa, a nun who tended the convent grounds, warned us, a group of navy-blue-uniformed girls, about the dangers of the moon. We all stopped and stared. We felt she was going to impart great wisdom to us. We knew what she had to say was going to be life-changing. Sister Rosa had never spoken to us before.
Despite her petite and wiry frame, Sister Rosa gave the impression of great strength. She carried a sense of certitude and grave seriousness; she was well-wrinkled and deeply baked from years in the Texas sun. She spoke with a strong, foreign accent which gave her a complete air of mystery, and, oddly, supreme authority.
“Where,” she asked, “do you think the word ‘lunacy’ came from?” We were grade school kids, second or third grade, we had no idea. We just knew that lunacy meant being crazy and, for damn straight sure, we, grade schoolers, knew that we did not want to be crazy—ever.
“The word ‘lunacy’ comes from the Latin luna, meaning moon,” she said. Sister Rosa stood there in silence as she let her information slide into place. And then, as if lining up all of the chambers in a gun, Sister Rosa fired her ultimate salvo.
“Never look at the moon,” she cautioned, “for if you look at the moon, you will become a lunatic!” Sister Rosa underscored her words with her cautionary finger punctuating the air. She repeated her dictate as she rolled her eyes for emphasis; she, then, told us the tale of a woman from her homeland. This woman had gone crazy from looking at the moon.
We were stunned into total silence and awe. You could hear a pin drop in the room. You could hear the penny drop in our minds as we scrambled to absorb this startling bit of information.
For a few minutes, I seriously considered Sister Rosa’s words as truth. Her words made sense to me. Luna, lunatic, lunacy, it all added up, at least, etymologically speaking. And she personally knew the moon-looking crazy woman; that was hard to forget.
Nonetheless, I did forget. I did not take Sister Rosa’s words to heart. There was a slight thrill for the potential for a moon-induced lunacy, but that never came to pass. And I continued to love the moon.
In fact, I have an unabashed love affair with the moon. I find her peaceful, calm, consoling, and outrageously beautiful. A one point or another, the moon has been my traveling companion, safe harbor, and touchstone.
There is something about the moon that calls me.
From crescent to full, the moon shows her many beautiful faces during the month. I like that the moon changes; she reminds me that the world is not static. I am not static. There is room for twists and turns. Change and shift, rotation and revolution are always possible. There is comfort in that. The moon steadies me like a rudder in a choppy sea of dailiness.
The moon illumined the way of the ancients. Today, the moon awakens in me primal memories of forgotten times when the movements of nature were viewed as sacred and soulful. Humans were aligned with the rhythms of the earth, sea, and sky. All pulsed together worked in one great gestalt of interconnectedness.
There is something seductive and beguiling about the moon. It possesses a unique, one-of-a-kind magnetism — a mesmerizing quality that beckons us into its feathery glow.
No wonder, poets, artists, and lyricists invoke the images of the moon and its lunar light. The moon’s light is diffuse and soft. The harsher realities of the day become less glaring; it smudges the fine lines of worry and heralds the sanctuary of sweet sleep and healing dreams. Moonlight illuminates romance, beauty, and, even, intrigue. It leads us home and gently embraces the busyness of the day. It is a beacon of light within a swirl of night blue sky.
The gravitational tugs of the moon push and pull the tides of our oceans, as well as our own deep waters. The moon speaks to our inner well springs of desires, what we choose to call in and what we choose to spit out; intentions and releases are our own push and pull of the moon.
The moon awakens our sixth sense and that deep-seated sense of knowing. Symbolically, it speaks to the Divine Feminine and the silvery energies of receiving, holding, maintaining, and birthing; energies that have been lost in the competitive drives to be the best and have the most.
There were those who gathered to dance naked in the light of a full moon. These days, most of us catch a quick drive-by glimpse. We stop, momentarily, and hang out in the spill of the moon’s shimmering, incandescent light.
Moonlight is magical. Many a wondrous thing can happen under its canopy. Just the thought of those possibilities awakens my inner Puck. Want to meet me under the moon tonight? Certainly, there will be some fun afoot.