Perigree Moon

Last night I witnessed the moon at perigree, the “super moon”. The close lunar orbit revealed the dark seas and impact craters on that celestial body more clearly than I have ever seen them.  Three of us stood shivering  out on my stoop, hours past moonrise. We gazed up with wonder at a light so bright that a nimbus glowed around it. It was hard to remember that light was just a reflection, a dim repetition of the light from our sun.

Writing Intentional 50 cultivates in me a similar heightened state of reflection. Closely observing how I want to move forward in life surprises me: I find new satisfaction, and deeper appreciation for the life I have made.  This reflective approach toward marking my fifth decade is its own kind of perigree – an occasional chance to look at things close up that I would otherwise take for granted.

And perhaps this capacity for reflection is why our culture insists that we should fear turning fifty. Getting close enough to mortality that we can see its features clearly could render us fearless and bold. If we are not afraid, we may grow into autonomy and no longer need the approval of others to light our way.

They say that a perigree moon is a good night to set new intentions: much is revealed by moonlight that is invisible in the harsh light of the sun.  The power of that reflected light was something I could not have fully witnessed when I was young enough to sleep soundly through the night.

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