I used to wonder, when I first worked out the cause of this phenomenon within me, whether that was the reason I was so fascinated by the Apollo program when I was a young boy. Perhaps it was the other way around, too, but I find it difficult to imagine that such an effect on my psyche would be "man-made" and not sublimely natural. In any event, I hung on every bit of information I could get about every single moon launch NASA ever made and all I wanted to do as a young man was become an astronaut. I now think this was not because I wanted to go into space (although that was certainly part of it); rather, it was more likely that I craved an opportunity to walk on the moon. (This would likely also explain why I never really paid that much attention to the Shuttle Program.)
We have an eastern exposure in our apartment, 20 storeys up. If the full moon rises after dark - or even at twilight - it often startles us upon its first appearance, hanging just above the horizon. As it continues to rise, it passes through an arc which carries it out over Lake Ontario and at its peak it lights up what seems to be miles upon miles of water. It's positively breathtaking. Last night was, unfortunately, not one of those nights as the moon rose well before dark and passed much more quickly out of view than during later months of the year. It was still a welcome and invigorating presence for me, though, as it always is.
There have, naturally, been innumerable songs and poems written "to" the moon. This is my favourite.
For no particular reason, here are my top 5 favourite songs with "moon" in the title that are not composed by Debussy:
5. Blue Moon - The Marcels
4. Pink Moon - Nick Drake
3. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
2. Harvest Moon - Neil Young (although Cassandra Wilson does an amazing cover)
1. Moondance - Van Morrison
On a tangentially related note, here's wishing everyone a Happy Easter weekend and Chag Pesach Sameach to those of you celebrating Passover tonight.