Last night, I was walking along the road when suddenly the Moon appeared, suspended in the black sky: bright gold. The Harvest Moon! I thought, but it isn't the season for harvest. . . Drawn like a moth to a candle, I changed my course, leaving the road and walking across the field toward the trees, toward the golden Moon. The frozen grass crunched beneath my shoes, and the cold seeped into my feet.
Behind the trees (their bare branches like lines of ink), the Moon hung. I have never seen it so warm. The Moon was amber, honey, copper, like a huge coin, a physical presence, ancient and alive, burnished gold. I walked toward it, transfixed. Its edges did not bleed into the blackness at all, almost as though it were a hole punched out of the sky, revealing the warm, welcoming light behind the coldness of space. But the Moon was too solid and bright to be a hole. Rather, it was a golden disk laid on a black velvet cloth. . . But the sky has no wrinkles, and the Moon was standing, not lying down, not sitting.
In the end, the Moon is the Moon, and anything else is a diminishment. Each time I see the full Moon, I am pierced to the core again.
I walked on, finally, when the chill soaked my bones. The Moon vanished into the horizon. But its golden light stayed. I walked like my pockets were full of gold coins, warm between my cold fingers.