It was a new moon, an orange crescent smiling as it settled into an ink black flat lake. It was the moon and a whisper from Marty that made me stop. You should have been there.
On most nights at our lake home, after Marty has settled in bed, I go sit outside on our west facing deck to enjoy the night sounds and cool air (in the fall and winter). I almost always take my I Pad with me and let my mind check out as I play Spades or something else equally inane.
When there is not much of a moon and the lights are low in our house it is pitch dark on the porch. You can see the lights on the docks reflecting off of the flat black water. You can see the white, blue, orange and red lights shimmering on the bank across the lake, evidence of homes, boat docks, towers and pumps.
This night the moon caught my eye. It was a new moon, a crescent shape that looked like a brilliant orange and golden smile. The moon light was cast across the smooth surface of the lake like an orange spotlight flashing from the far side of the lake to the shore on my side.
Like I said, you really should have seen it.
Too often, much too often I have seen something notable then moved on to the next thing in my brain. That behavior drove Marty nuts. She would tell me, stop, look, enjoy, revel in the moment, be in the here and now and feel life at that moment. She would say it’s okay to stop and feel content for a minute. Mostly I didn’t listen to her.
This time I listened to my inner Marty voice (yes, it’s there, a lot), this time I put my I Pad down, I walked away from the sitting and the Spades and walked to the middle of the deck and watched the beaming crescent dipping into the dark flat lake. I looked up and saw the stars, the stars you can only see when you are away from city lights, the stars so far away the light you see is old.
It was cool, it was clear; it was so quiet all I could hear were the sounds God’s world makes. An airplane made little noise as it blinked its way with passengers going from Houston to Dallas, oblivious to the moon I was watching.
Even when Marty isn’t right beside me she is still in my head, it’s really spooky sometimes. That night I could feel her saying, “It’s okay to feel content. It’s okay to feel right with the world.”
It’s okay to feel good. In spite of what so many want you to believe this is an amazing world in which we live, there is beauty, light, and life all around us and we truly live in the most amazing, safest, richest time in history. I know, I know, there are wars, rumors of war, hunger, poverty, and true tragedy all around us and we must confront all of that. But life, today, in this era, while complicated, is incredible.
Marty and I know a little about tragedy so I get a lot of the pessimism. But that moon, that smiling moon the color of which I am at a loss to describe, that moment in time when Marty’s always present spirit told me to look, to feel, to breathe, to forget everything else but that moment.
For me, moments like that shows me that a God is with us, my Christian God, your Jewish God, your Muslim God, it doesn’t matter. It matters that in that moment that crescent moon was God smiling at all of us and saying it’s okay to feel good.
And Marty was there whispering in my ear to remember how important it was to see and feel that smile and be nowhere but in that moment.