Moon Shadow

The back light is out so the dog and I had to stumble together toward the far end of the back yard in the dark. There’s a point when you get just past the first stand of trees, near the creek, when the sky opens up. I had been struggling to try to find the path between the last trees and the old barbecue pit, willing my eyes to adjust to the dark, when I came into the clear spot and I saw something moving on the ground.

How could I see anything moving on the ground in this darkness? And then I realized that soft gray thing moving on the ground was me–my shadow. I looked up behind me and the moon was a smile in the sky. I don’t know if it’s that it’s so clear or so not humid, but it didn’t seem like enough of a moon to cast a shadow and yet, there it was.

I cast a lot of shadows in the dark, in the mornings. The AT&T building is well-lit. The street lights along Lloyd are bright. And I’m sure I must have cast shadows by moonlight before. I was a child outside of the city, after all. But this felt like the first time I ever realized how soft and mysterious a shadow cast by moonlight is. A thing that seems like a secret you and the moon share.

The dog must also have had a shadow, but he is such a bright yellow in the moonlight that, when I looked at him, reflecting the light the moon reflected from the sun, all I could see was brightness. I wonder if I had looked behind me when he stood near me, if I would have seen an even fainter shadow of me?

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