The wolf moon is rising over South Ridge. When I was a child, living on a farm, I could follow her phases with some regularity; the steps I took into adulthood led me away from her, into the false illumination of information. I didn’t understand what I was missing until I saw her again; my celestial touchstone, she seemed impotent unless accessible. In her absence, I was feeling my way in the dark.
I know now what privilege it was to gaze on her changing face night after night, month after month, while I was growing up. She is the sentinel that marks the passage of days, months, seasons, perpetual yet ever-changing. In the midst of my own change, to catch her gaze is like the bestowal of a benediction. She is the watcher, the silent witness that echoes my deepest truths: a slim crescent hanging over my first kiss, the half-moon of my first wedding night, the blood-red harvest of divorce and death. Her wise face, having seen all, is that of the sage who asks me to ask myself: where was I when I saw her last? Who was I with? How did I feel? Where will I be when I see her next? Who will I be, by then?
There have been long droughts where I never saw her except by happenstance or luck. A glimpse through a city window, where I sat drowning in bluescreen, on a drive somewhere between blinding clusters of fluorescence, or on rare forays to some rural oasis, where the sight of her always reminded me how separated we’d become. She might not even cross my mind until I saw her again, by accident. I knew her changes only by calendar, by conversation, or because when she was full, I couldn’t sleep. Months, even years would pass without her light - only the restlessness that came of knowing she was there, and yet absent from my life. Like a friend, she offered no reproach for my neglect.
For many years I’ve longed to live again where the moon would guide my passage with her phases, as she did the ancients. And now I do. Here on South Ridge, she has presided over the seeds I planted in the garden, reaching towards dawn; July fireflies blinking against silhouettes of spruce; autumn leaves glittering as they whirled toward the ground. It was late September when I married the wolf who drew me here, and she shone full of promise over the vow I made to him. I made it to her as well – the faithful companion who is never lost, even when hidden by shadow. She is faithfulness.
Now the earth is blanketed in snow. The moon has burst across the sleeping woods; the rest of the sentence will follow in a wash of pearl over the darkest part of the year. She waxes poetic, growing in luminescence, devoid of the distraction of colour. The tracks behind me grow clearer with a contrast and clarity unseen in the brightness of day. Arriving once again in all her glory, she beckons me further than I have gone before; when she retreats, then so will I.
With every cycle she has shown me that in times of darkness, I learn new answers to old questions. And if I don’t, I know she will always return to help me see. As she changes, so does my perspective; when she shows her face in full, I marvel at how far I’ve come.