Last night’s full moon was dubbed a Supermoon, thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brought the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years. It really did look bigger. I was just completing final layout on the April Horizons Magazine and really wanted to get down to the beach to watch the moon rise, but I just could not make myself get in motion to leave the property. This is when I appreciate my humble jungle here, where I have room to roam and explore and don’t have to dress to go out and be prepared to socialize. Don’t get me wrong, I am as gregarious as they come, but I talk to a lot of people during the course of a day. At the end of the day, I am usually talked out and don’t want to hear another voice, especially my own. So when I can escape into the silence of my oak woods under the light of the full moon, I jump at the chance.
It took me a long while to wind down last night. I’d finished the April magazine in the afternoon and then played on Facebook for awhile. I could see some friends would be at House of Joe listening to music, but I wanted to hear natural sounds and be under the stars and the full moon. I was going to take my guitar outside with me and sit at the firepit playing around with it, then realized the neighbors would hear that. And I wanted to be invisible.
I walked around the yard collecting small twigs and sticks to throw on the kindling pile. I picked up a line of stepping stones that were covered with winter leaf fall, and placed them back down on top of the leaves. The full moon was just breaking over the east tree line about 9:30pm and it lit up the yard. I made it into the firepit area about 10pm.
In the spirit of remaining invisible I didn’t light a fire, I just sat and watched the moon as it began to peek through the oak canopy. I watched the nightly parade down the trails of the opposum, the raccoons and armadillos. It looks like 3 baby raccoons and 4 baby armadillos. Ihe opposum is always alone, she’s solitary and nocturnal. I could hear the hootie owl in the oak hammock next door.
I decided I wanted to sleep outside. I knew the temp would drop to the mid 50′s and it was easy enough to fashion a quick lean-to with a tarp so I didn’t have to set a tent up. I made a little raised platform, so I wouldn’t be disturbed by any snakes slithering by. I brought out my pillow and blankets and settled in for the night.
The woods really come alive at night. All night long there are critters making their way up and down the trails. Sometimes you can hear the crickets stop, and everyone looks and listens to see who is the new intruder on the scene. Sleep happens in spurts and I follow the moon on her journey across the night sky.
I wake up before dawn as the birds begin singing to the light. I see a squirrel on a branch 2 feet above me, chewing an acorn and watching me. I can see she’s a nursing mama. Her mate scampers down the branch, she tosses the acorn and the chase is on.
I decide to make a small fire and heat water for hot tea, which I brew with a handful of fresh mulberries and drink as I watch the daybreak. I can hear the birds in the courtyard and the squirrels running through the trees and I feel like I live in a Disney movie. It feels cozy to sit outside in the wild natural morning and watch the neighborhood wake up this way. This is what it means to be in the world but not of it, to live a world apart.
I wandered around for an hour, watering the loquat seedlings. I planted a new line of them as a privacy fence and they are all coming up as planned. I should have done this 30 years ago. Well, my place is wooded and hidden enough as it is. Who knows, while I may enjoy being a solitary hermit now, maybe by the time I’m 80 or 90 I’ll wish for company.
For now, that’s one thing that keeps me from being more social, the fact that I have such a good time alone doing quiet things. And after a long day of work and talking and voices, sometimes it would be nice to have someone to be alone in the silence with. Just kind of watching the moon together and sipping hot tea and loving life.