Deepen your understanding of subtle aspect and effects of the season by observing Earth’s closest neighbor.
By Deborah Willoughby
Want to deepen your connection with the natural world but don’t know how to go about it? One way is to choose a specific aspect of nature and attend to it over a period of weeks and months, letting it reveal both itself and your connection with it. The moon is a good place to start–it sails across the sky in all seasons and affects us in ways we are only dimly aware of.
What do you know about the moon? It waxes and wanes, and it is sometimes visible during the day. It pulls at the ocean, causing the tides to ebb and flow. What else? You have been seeing it all your life, but have you ever given it your attention? Here’s a quick quick:
- As you read this, is the moon waxing or waning?
- If the sky were clear would it be visible now? Would you know where in the sky to look?
- Where does does the moon rise and where does it set?
- If the moon rose around 9:30 last night, when will it rise tonight?
- When you see a crescent moon just before sunrise, is it waxing or waning? What if you see it after sunset?
- When a gibbous moon sets before midnight, is it waxing or waning? (What is a gibbous moon, anyway?)
Many people can’t answer any of these questions, and most can’t answer more than one or two. If you’re among them, consider taking some time to discover the answers. Avoid the temptation to buy a book or ask someone or look up the moon on the Internet. Instead simply look up. Watch the moon and watch what feelings watching it evokes. As it reveals its secrets, you feel connected to the natural world even if you are dwelling in a glass and concrete canyon.
Deborah Willoughby is the founding editor of Yoga International.