Saturday, March 19, 2011
In Love With Night
The moon is absolutely spectacular. It looks like a huge lit balloon hanging in the night sky. Meanwhile on the streets of South Philadelphia, this glorious sight goes largely unnoticed, the sky pierced with the Saturday sounds of boom boxes and obscenities, cell phones and loud engines. Sigh.
I know that many people are fearful of the darkness and dread the night. They have my sympathies. If truth be told, I am in love with night. The sky at dusk and before daybreak holds a beauty that I find captivating. I've been known to walk into telephone poles on my evening stroll while mesmerized by the Western sky. The night is not just a time for creeps and thugs to come out. Some of the most beautiful plants and flowers come alive at night. The blooms of a moon vine and the sweet aroma of night-scented stock are two reasons alone to look forward to the setting of the sun. For about a year, I took riding lessons at night and was amazed that the horse could see his way to and from the barn in nearly total darkness. I might add that he was aptly named Moondance.
Tonight, if only for a few moments, take some time to look at the moon. It will be the largest and brightest we've seen in 18 years. Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, says the moon will be only slightly more prominent in the night sky. Says Pitts: “The moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth. The elliptical orbit produces close approaches to Earth and more distant approaches to Earth called apogee and perigee. The perigee is closer to Earth than it has been in the last 18 years.”
I can' wait.
Posted by TLW at 2:13 PM