Zion. I step out of my cabin after a late dinner. A new moon burnishes the canyon floor. One cliff shadow falls against the next. The bright moon, rising over the peaks to my back. A loan tree atop the canyon wall occults the moon, like a spider in the light. The white teases out the crags in the sandstone and licks the far off vermillion cliff caps.
I’ve discovered I’m a joy miser. I want certain things in life. Dreams unrealized. But I believe I’ll only be given so much. So when I’m offered something good but unexpected, a “small” miracle like a walk in the moonlight, maybe I turn it down out of a sense of negotiation, believing God provides the moon walk instead of my dream, believing the Universe has only a limited supply of good things. So I cheat myself out of the little good things, out of the present moment, hoarding a future of big good things that never arrives. Well no more. I’m going for a walk in the moonlight.
Mule deer graze in the field in front of my lodge. Could hear a fawn pull up the long grasses with his teeth. Light clouds flit by. Stars rival the moon for apparent magnitude Wait a minute; are there three Dippers? I’ve just discovered the Medium Dipper.
I meander along banks of the Virgin River. The night, its wind, are so mysterious they conspire with a skeletal winter willow; altogether an army of ghosts. Then it becomes clear in me: all the greatness the world offers, the fame and money and great sex, the television exposure and stock options, represents currency that can’t purchase a walk in the moonlight. It could purchase the view, I suppose, but not the appreciation.
All the universe’s little items distilled in the moonlight. The moon is made new each cycle, renewing all things with a first born light. It scours everything in innocence. In cool effulgence.
© 2015 by Michael C. Just