Last night I took the dog out for our usual after dinner walk. It was chilly, in the mid-forty degree range. Of course the most distinct feature of the evening’s outing was the much-publicized Super Moon. In a scientific sense, it was “super” because it was the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948, and it will not match that proximity again for another 18 years. Visually, it was estimated to appear about 14 percent larger than usual, but what I saw Monday night around nine o’clock was more than super. It was spectacular.
Emma and I headed out on our regular route for a couple blocks and then on a path up a hill into and through the neighborhood park. There’s a bench at the top of the incline. I’m usually a little out of breath by then so often we just pause there for a few minutes. But last night I was so captivated by the natural beauty of the moon in its glowing whiteness, I had to just sit a while and take it in. The sky’s customary black canopy was washed out by the amazing spotlight brightness of that ashen sphere some 223,000 miles distant from my little dog and me. Mars was twinkling red in the west and diamond shimmering Venus was still prominent, just about to dip below the southwestern horizon. But overhead only the blinking lights of an occasional 747 and a couple first-magnitude or better stars were visible. I had to strain and squint to find the North Star.
There was such an atmosphere of peace, there on that cold metal park bench, saturated in pure moonlight. The folks in neighborhoods all around me were undoubtedly about their regular household affairs, getting ready to call it a day. But at that moment in time, in my personal center of the universe, it was just me, the dog, the Super Moon – and God, the One Who long ago spoke the cosmos into being and Who arranged like some epic musical composition a unique astronomical event last night just to reveal His awesomeness to me. On the way home, I kept looking back over my shoulder. Through silhouettes of bare maples and even thick spruce trees the view was hauntingly majestic. I thought about Psalm 19 where it says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Last night that reality couldn’t have been more obvious.