The Tale of Little Miss Lunar
She hangs like a pendulum in the night sky, and sometimes you will see her still hanging out there with her friend, the Sun, during the day. Now Little Miss Lunar (as I always called her), or better known as The Moon, is 4.5 billion years old and is our closest and most admired neighbour.
Last week, when I was out walking on the cliffs I saw Little Miss Lunar hanging there, all silent and mysterious. I stood there for quite some time just watching her, watching me back. And I remembered a story my father once told me, one night as we sat watching the Moon from our porch. He pointed out the dark areas.
Pointing at the dark areas, ‘Those are known as seas,’ he told me. ‘They have Latin names such as Mare Serenitatis (the Sea of Serenity) and Mare Frigoris (the Sea of cold).’
I can see him now, turning to look at me, watching for my reaction. As always, I listened intensely with eyes wide open.
‘They are not seas of course,’ he said frowning, and I shook my head as if I already knew that, but I didn’t, you see, I was only seven at the time.
‘Well as you know,’ he said, ‘they are large areas of smooth dark lava.’ I nodded in agreement and smiled up at Little Miss Lunar.
That night, my father told me all about Little Miss Lunar and how she had many faces with different names. I remember thinking that I would like to be the Moon and change the shape of my face from time to time. My Father used to call me Waterworks as I was either crying or laughing, nothing in-between, so if I was like Miss Lunar, then I would wear a smile all of the time.
He told me that the Moon we could see was the large Harvest Moon and that the full moon had a sort of magical phenomena and could be the reason why I had trouble sleeping. This didn’t make any sense to me but I said nothing. He talked about the Waxing Moon and the Waxing Gibbous Moon. Then he told me that I would have to fly 239,000 miles if I wanted to sit on the Moon. I didn’t think I wanted to sit on the moon and anyway, I reminded him that although grandmother said I was an Angel, I did not have wings.
But what I remember most about that conversation with my father was the bit about when the Moon is a crescent, and is illuminated by the Sun.
‘If you look closely at that Moon,’ he said smiling down at me, ‘you will see the shadow of the rest of the Moon.’ Then he took my hand and said ‘this is sometimes called ‘the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms!’
I loved that saying, I imagined myself holding my mother in my arms and telling her how much I loved her!