Day 323: Phase

I was going to call this one “moon,” but that was just a little too silly, even for me….

I’ve been reading a chapter tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s class–the author is discussing the pace of life in a digital age, and our loss of a lived time to a temporality better suited to circuits and networks. At one point in the chapter, he talks about how this same technology–our smartphones and laptops–could serve as tools to put us back into our natural cycles (think biorythms) and the cycles of the planet. How many of us right now, he notes, are aware of the phase of the moon?

An excellent point.

My first impulse, I have to admit was: let’s Google it and find out. Then a radical idea came to me: what if I were to walk outside and look at the night sky?

Which is what I did. It’s another cold night up in the mountains, though not as cold as last night. The sky is clear and filled with stars. I searched for the moon… and couldn’t find it anywhere. I wasn’t entirely convinced it was a new moon, but it seemed to be. Was the moon hiding behind the house? Low on the horizon behind the trees? Not yet risen? And where on the horizon would the moon rise on November 19?

I came back inside, carrying a bit of the cold night with me. I’ll admit it. I did ultimately search online to confirm what I didn’t see in the sky–and discovered that the moon is in its final waning days–almost a new moon.

A couple of years ago, I made a habit of looking to the night sky every evening, just to take note of the waxing and waning of the moon. It’s startling that such a thing, so important to humans for so many thousands of years, would lose all reference (except, perhaps, as an online reference).

It might be time, once again, to attend a bit more closely to the cycles and phases of the sky.

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