February 8, 2012

Howling at the Moon

Ever feel like howling at the moon? There is something about a full moon that commands my attention. I am drawn to its glow like a moth to the flame. I stand and stare at its naked beauty. Sometimes I even desire to howl.

I took a walk late last night, under the full moon’s shining light. Thin, puffy clouds could not obscure its brightness. When the clouds passed by the moon, a rainbow halo glowed around it. Curiously, though, when the clouds were not present, the halo disappeared and only deep blue sky surrounded the moon.

As I walked along, I realized I could see stars through the clouds, and I stopped in my tracks. These were bright winter stars, bright enough to shine even with a full moon’s glow; bright enough to shine through the puffs of cloud reflecting the bright moonlight. I realized I was looking at the belt of Orion, and soon the rest of the constellation became clear. I watched until thicker clouds swept over and covered them up again.

It was an army of clouds, moving with great speed; puffy and round, in rank upon rank. They moved swiftly, though at ground level there was barely a breeze. To the west was a different sky. There, on the western horizon, skies were clearing. What clouds there were different, stretched out long and thin. The night sky between them was in deep shades of aquamarine. These clouds didn’t move, but stretched out long and wispy, separating the deep, calming blues of a clearing sky.

Even with the thin clouds, the moon was bright enough to cast my shadow on pavement that was brightly lit only by the moonlight. I walked in wonder at all I saw. Even in the middle of a mild Wisconsin winter; even in the dark of night, there was beauty to behold.

Other than the deep shades of blue in the sky, my eyes were robbed of seeing color by the white light of the moon in the dark night. Yet, I saw beauty in the night sky.

I wonder about heaven. If it is more glorious than we can imagine, and surely it is, how can it possibly be more beautiful then this earth we walk on? Day after day, I am in awe of the beauty of nature. Season by season, there is new beauty to behold as the cycle of life ebbs and flows.

If you travel at all, you begin to see the wondrous, changing landscape of our great earth. From the depths of the seas to the highest mountains, throughout the forested lands and through the open plains, we cannot begin to ascertain the greatness in the beauty of this land we have been given. It is to be cherished.

We are the stewards of this great planet. It was given to us as a great gift by the One who made heaven and earth.  Only we can make certain that its riches are not taken for granted. Our air, water, sea and sky cannot be allowed to become polluted. We must manage our natural resources with our thoughts on sustainability. 
Our earth is the only home we have this side of heaven, so it makes good sense to care for it with respect and understanding. Appreciate all of its beauty, and cherish the natural wonders waiting to be discovered, even on a cold, moonlit night.

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