The moon. Beautiful, mysterious. Our constant companion in the universe, showing us the same face always. It is our nearest cosmic neighbour, at an average of around 290,000 miles away.
Earth’s nameless, almost timeless moon, its three phases The Maiden, The Mother, The Crone hearkening back to Pagan times. Many other cultures have revered the moon. To ancient Greeks she is the triple-headed goddess Hecate, among others. The Romans knew her as Luna, Mani to the Norse, while she is Arianrhod in Welsh mythology. She is the inspiration of and has the responsibility for poets and songwriters, tides, sowing of seeds, cleansing of crystals, the cycle of life, baying of hounds, transformation of werewolves; her silver cloak interwoven with both reality and myth.
She casts her chilly glare over television too: Space 1999 had Moonbase Alpha, Star Trek and various old sci-fi series, The Clangers in the 70’s, Button Moon in the 80’s.
She and I are old friends, our paths, if not our destinies, intermingling. My life seems synchronous with the moon: I was conceived during the week of the first landing, born on the day the failed Apollo 13 Lunar Module was scheduled to touch down, but didn’t. It is also my daughter’s middle name. The moon has been there for me, keeping a crater-eye open, determining whether my month will be a sea of tranquility or an ocean of storms.
Last night there was a supermoon, an occasional event when my friend swells to 30% in size and magnitude. Just over a year ago, the event coincided with a visit to a terminally ill relative, and resulted in some poor photos. A few weeks ago we had another, but with zero visability. During yesterday evening, the grey mizzle of Northern England in December saw me heading off to bed disappointed. When I got up this morning I peeped out of my curtains. To the west, opaque and swollen with her own self-importance hung the supermoon. I dashed to my doorway with the camera. Slightly later, on my way to work, I took more pictures.
But that wasn’t quite it. This evening, while typing this, the moon slid up the eastern sky, rusty with dust and still fat, like a blob of delicious cream cheese. Here are some pictures, I’m quite pleased with them given my lack of professional equipment.
And below are a couple of pictures taken from the doorway at 5 this morning. On one you can see lines radiating from impact craters. Never seen nowt like it through my viewfinder before! Awesome!