Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon taught my daughter the importance of being grateful every night by acknowledging the little things in life like “a little toyhouse and a young mouse” and the big things like the “Goodnight stars and Goodnight air”. I enjoyed reading it to Bridget so many years ago because of its simple text and the generosity of color in Clement Hurd’s illustrations, pictures that tickled the imagination of a sleepy child.
I pulled the book out this morning because the absence of the sun and moon throws a wrench in my day. Especially when the day is Sunday, like today.
A Sunday without a sunrise is like a balloon without air. It’s flat and lifeless. A grey morning whose arrival resembles the crisp and sharp lines of an Ansel Adams photograph, rather than the brilliance and exaggerated colors of a Kodachrome slide, simply throws me off.
Early this morning, well before dawn, the dogs woke me up. I let them out and walked barefoot onto the cold cement yearning for a peek at the moon. It was nowhere to be found. The sky was overcast and fewer than a handful of stars penetrated its cloud cover.
When I made my coffee I decided that I would return to bed and start my morning there. I am usually at yoga Sunday mornings, but an injury has me grounded. I intended to greet the morning, slowly, quietly, gratefully, much like I do at my early morning Sunday yoga practice. I opened the curtains expecting to see the sun. The rooftops were frosted, but nothing glistened.
This a good moment to insert the feeling of being “betwixt and between”. I don’t believe I am lost this morning. Though when I pulled back the curtains, this grey Sunday morning made my compass feel missing or even broken. I swear, and I should check the records to confirm, that every time we switch the clocks forward or back, the day is a grey Sunday. With no morning moon to bid adieu to and no progression of the sun moving from east to west, days like today, made of all shades of grey, are torture.
The sun and moon keep me grounded: in yoga that grounding is physically expressed through the different varieties of sun and moon salutations and crescent moon stretches, through which we honor those two celestial timekeepers, whose presence reminds me daily that I am part of something bigger, a connection to a universe that science can chart but only faith can make sense of.
Goodnight Moon was not titled, Goodbye Moon. The story takes place at the end of the day, and how that brings the promise of a new day. So, how can you start the day absent a sunrise?
You are looking at it. I am writing through it, because by acknowledging the sun’s importance and role in my life maybe I am a bit closer to taking its absence in stride. And maybe God will hear my prayer that this thick cloud cover blanketing my morning and making me feel like my brain is cloaked in an endless fog will soon dissipate so I can revel in the light of a new day.