I’m not quite sure when our relationship began – I can’t specify the year or age when we first connected. He’s always been there, but I didn’t start paying attention to him until possibly middle school? I think it was during a week at summer camp when I first really noticed him. I recall that I was trying to work through my spirituality – as best one can do at the age of 11 or 12! I wanted an image for God. I wanted something to look toward, to look at, to help me focus, to help me remember. It was at camp, I think, that I looked up at the full moon and really saw the Man in the Moon. That evening I remember deciding, “That’s God’s face.” From then on, the moon and I started paying more attention to each other.
Once I expressed my interest in the moon to those around me, I started getting moon things all the time! It became the go to “Anne” gift – “I’m not sure what to get her this Christmas…Oh look! A moon! That’s perfect for Anne!” Of course, when I started collecting moons, I don’t think I shared the deeper connection – the face of God. I think I just said, “I like the moon” and so moons began to appear.
Matching moon mugs. Magnets. A mirror. Earrings. Wall hangings. Tshirts. Posters and mugs and magnets with this quote: “Shoot for the moon. If you miss at least you land among the stars.” My junior year of high school my mom noticed that my baby blanket (that I still used, don’t judge) was starting to get a little raggedy. We decided to replace it with something a little more appropriate to my age (can a blankie ever be “more appropriate”?) so we found bandanas with sun, moon and stars on them and made a quilt out of them. Around that same time I also found a wall paper border with moons on it that I used in my bedroom. Moons everywhere!
I don’t remember exactly when the moon gifts faded away, but eventually they stopped coming. Just because I wasn’t getting anymore magnets or mugs (which I never really used, but felt the need to keep because of the moons!) didn’t mean my relationship with the moon faded too. (Obviously…in 2013 when I decided to start a small business Quilting Moonbeams came to me in minutes!)
I always look up when the sky is dark. I’m always caught off guard when I see the moon in the sky opposite of the rising sun or in the afternoon as the sun begins to descend. Those unexpected sightings are a reminder that the face of God is always present whether I can see it or not.
I love seeing the moon shining bright in the dark evening sky. I think my favorite moon sightings are when it’s just above the horizon and looks HUGE. But, I also really like the crescent shape when the shadow of the earth is clearly visible over the moon.
238,900 miles away. I see the moon as it currently is (mostly). Unlike the stars who may or may not be there anymore. I’m seeing the light of those stars from Roman times. How is that possible? It blows my mind how incredibly vast the Universe is!
When I glance up at the sky and see the moon, I’m reminded of God, of that moment in my childhood when I needed something tangible help me process my faith. I still need something tangible to help me process my faith. The moon comforts me. When I’m away from home I’m comforted knowing the moon I see there is the same moon looking down on my family. We can all look up at the sky and see the same moon shining over us, protecting us, uniting us under the same sky.
There are times I feel the moon tapping me on the shoulder. I’m standing outside early in the morning letting Denali relieve herself – I’m still half asleep trying to blink my eyes into seeing. Then, for some reason I don’t understand, I’m urged to look up, to look around the sky and then – there he is, looking down on me. I’m not aware enough to have thought to look up, and yet, there I am looking up, letting the light shine down on me.
Creation isn’t a one-way street. It’s not always about me paying attention. Creation has a way of nudging, urging, guiding me to pay attention. I can ignore those nudges. I can turn the other way. But, what joy is there in that? I love getting those taps on the shoulder – I love that nature encourages me to pay closer attention.
It started with the moon many years ago. Today it continues with hummingbirds and hostas and spiders and rabbits and a tiny bug that lands on one blade of grass when I happen to be looking right at it and a branch that falls out of the tree when I glanced that way. Nudges everywhere. Creation isn’t just guiding me – no one is left out. This is a secret world that everyone is invited to see. Pay attention, slow down – you’ll start to notice the nudges too.