The past couple of nights, the moon has been nearly ripe. The heavens are clear after much cloud and rain. As I cycle away from the routine and familiarity of my workday, a pair of tawny owls call to each other from neighbouring oak trees. Traffic is sparse enough that I can ride without my headlight. The rainwet road stretches and winds before me like a silver ribbon, illumined by the light of the almost full moon. Jupiter and Venus slowly rise like shining specks of hope hanging over the horizon.
As I cut down into the valley, the moon follows me, just over my right shoulder. It skims and then dips behind the lacy, nearly bare branches of late-autumn trees, a shining pearl behind a delicately wrought filigree.
“I suppose there were moonless nights and dark ones with but a silver shaving and pale stars in the sky, but I remember them all as flooded with the rich indolence of a full moon.” – Willa Cather
As I journey deeper into the dark, more stars become visible . . . . . compass points, celestial guides. I follow Megrez and Phecda in the Big Dipper straight to Regulus, a triple star which glows in the heart of Leo. I am led home.
“We came together underneath the stars above. What started out as liking soon developed into love. I sense a certain something that, in my heart, felt so true that I knew I waited all my life to fall in love with you.” – Anonymous
Finally the hills rise enough to block the moonlight completely. The familiar road and landmarks are shrouded in black velvet, yet the trees seem to shelter me as they line the banks on either side. Closer to home, they arch to meet overhead and form a tunnel. The stars dangle from their branches like fairy lights.
“I haven’t a clue as to how my story will end. But that’s all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don’t conclude the road has vanished. And how else could we discover the stars?”- Anonymous
As I ride through, I see the lights of home twinkling at the other end . . . . warmth and the journey’s end.