Long long ago, when the universe was forming, the Moon fell in love with the Sun.
The Moon was afraid that the Sun wouldn’t see her, because the Sun was so bright. Slowly she pulled herself together. After careful thought, she chose to orbit the Earth.
Now it is another full lunar eclipse. Her face reflects the Sun’s glory back to him. She slides behind the Earth in a three hour version of her usual cycle, from full to only her own light back to full.
“Where are you, Moon?” bellows the Sun. He hates these quick disappearances. He yells and bellows and tantrums. But the Moon knows that he will forget quickly and that he has not bothered to learn and predict her cycles. He doesn’t like to be reminded of loss and endings and death.
The Sun likes it best when he has her full glory, face reflected back to him. He doesn’t see her light. Each month she moves from reflecting his light towards her quiet time when it is only her light that is visible from Earth. She needs this time to remember that she has her own light, even if it is a shadow compared with the sun.
“You should orbit me!” says the Sun, but the Moon knows that if she orbited him she would be burned and barren and dead, no rest and no light of her own. One night a month the Moon remembers who she is and is alone. She lets her quiet darkness shine. The Earth whispers, “Why do you love the Sun so? Don’t cry, Sister.” The Earth’s salt water tides move like tears.
Sometimes the Moon longs for ending, but she remembers: all love, returned or not, is longing and praise for the Beloved. Maybe she will not be loved or seen as she longs to be in this life, but she too will return to the Beloved and be One. And after her time in the dark she slowly returns to reflecting the Sun.
And the Sun loves her in his way. He loves to watch his reflection grow on her face each month, preens in it, until she is full. He is more irritable in the second half, as she turns her face away again. She wishes that he would look past his own light and see her.
Now the little eclipse is ending and she is rapidly becoming full again. The Sun is cheering up.
“It’s silly of you to hide your face.” says the Sun, fondly.
The moon does not smile. The Sun sees his own smile reflected in her face.
I took the photo in 2009 at Joshua Tree.