Morning Moon

As I walked through campus this morning, a full moon gleamed above the western horizon.  Its cream-colored disc, reflecting the glow of sunrise, was the only defect in a pale blue sky.

Unchanged for billions of years, our lone satellite lit midnight beaches as the first terrestrial creatures scrambled ashore and glowed behind smoky darkness after a massive asteroid ended the reign of dinosaurs.  So too has it witnessed the evolution of our species, passively illuminating both the achievements and the atrocities that have marked our history.

We humans, focused on the routine of our daily lives, associate the moon with darkness, taking little notice when it traverses a sunlit sky.  But its steady presence is vital to our existence, stabilizing the Earth's axis and dousing the shores with nourishing tides.  Inspiring song and poetry since the dawn of man, the moon's tranquility belies its violent birth and bleak landscape but stirs the soul of all who gaze on its celestial beauty.