Pink Moon

It’s not often enough I remember to look up and wonder at the night sky, or the day sky for that matter, to contemplate that it for all intents is a vastness that goes on forever, the word ‘sky’ only capturing a tiny part of it. It is no help that light pollution washes out most of the stars at night and air pollution can muddle the blue depths of the day sky like a camera with the white balance set incorrectly. But a moon visible in the morning sky is like walking out of a matinee movie into a daylight; unexpected. The moon does not belong to the day, so catching it there is a disorienting thrill.

I don’t keep track of the moon, so when I look out the window and see a bright morning moon in the lapis lazuli light of the dawning sky, I know I have to make time up to Sunset Hill to capture it with a camera.

I learn, after I get home, that the moon this morning is not quite full, and when it will be on Wednesday, it will be a pink moon, named not for its color as with the ‘blood moon’ of last January, but for a flower that blooms in spring. It is the first full moon of spring and the one used to set the date for Easter. For people of a certain philosophical bent, it could represent rebirth and renewal, like the cherry blossoms of Japan.

For me it brings to mind a song, a snippet of which was used in a Volkswagen commercial 20 years ago that still gives me goosebumps, and brought fame to the songwriter and singer long after he was dead, and which was on a compilation tape a friend dubbed and gave to me during a last visit before we both went on very different paths, he to London and myself to San Francisco, following the trodden path of my then Beat heroes, to an SRO hotel room on Post Street, and a Thanksgiving night at a pullout along the Merced River on Highway 140, the moon that night a waning crescent, better to see the sky full of stars from the hood of a rented car, windows open to let the music out to mix with the sound of the river, breath smoke plumes, sometimes headlights flashing past, illuminating a moment, the roadside scene in passing, 20 years ago.

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