While some folks abandon the beaches after September, I’m an all-weather kind of girl. Last weekend, I scratched together some minutes to visit the barrier island at sunset. I planned to look for ducks on the northern bay side, and then cross to admire the ocean to the south. I sketched a vague plan for a post about the cold, fierce November ocean, but the water lapped the sand as gently as August waves. Instead, I oriented myself to the lights at the other cardinal points: the sun, setting to the west, the full moon rising at my back.
The chance to watch both simultaneously is one gift of these shortened days; thank goodness, since we’re counting every heartening effect we can find until the winter solstice.
Now, the moon at her fullest rises early and enormous. The optics of the atmosphere bend the light and magnify her face so that her craters and rays are visible to the naked eye. On the other horizon, the sun wraps herself in crimson and gold, and casts her warm glow on the face of the moon.
I can’t decide which I prefer: these fiery sunsets, or the simmering enormity of the rising moon. Late fall and winter are the moon’s seasons, after all. But the sun sure puts on a good show, doesn’t she?