Nov 4 2009
It’s only late at night — when we coax the horses into the barn and take Maisie for a walk up the drive — that we notice the moon’s climb to the top rung.
It’s so bright that the stars concede defeat. Next to the moon, they’re just white pinholes in the sky.
Walking in the presence of the full moon is like gaining sight. The light casts shadows on the gravel and we see all that we’re blind to: we step around the rain-filled potholes and avoid the purring mass of orange fur threaded between our legs. We call back Maisie before she charges the antlers in the woods. On most dark nights — while we’re stumbling down the drive and cursing the cat — Maisie is bolting off in the darkness. The only tip-off: the sound of trampled grass receding across the field.
Back at home the moonlight washes away the farm’s flaws. The darkness swallows the holes in the silo and the moon angles its rays on barn’s towering white walls. We can’t see the warped clapboard, the jaunty gutters and the pocked roof. Under the moon, the barn looks stately.
When I wake up in the dark morning hours, the moon looks smaller and has lost some of its luster. But before it blinks out it reveals one more trick: painting the foamy fog over the valley in a milky, ghostly glow.