59. Into the Darkness, part three
When the moon is full or verging on full, no torch is needed because the lanes are silvery and the land is bathed in greys. I still take one, to alert any possible cars, in case you were worrying.
Some nights I walk into the full moon and spend most of the walk gazing upwards at her beauty (my feet know the lanes and the potholes very well by now) and walk home with my moon-shadow preceding me. That's a very odd experience in the night time; the shadow is so well-defined as to be slightly un-nerving. And she's a lot slimmer than I'm still used to being.
The moon is so bright those nights that sometimes I turn round to look behind me, certain that there must be a car's headlights behind me but there is only this cold, bright beauty staring down, outlining the trees in black silhouette. And possibly a beagle in a safety-jacket pelting up the road behind me, tongue hanging out and eyes filled with joy.
On moonlit nights the stars are flashes of diamond and the planets are steady lights of silver (apart from Mars who is always reddish) but on moonless nights—wow. The sky is dusty with stars, not black at all. When you look directly at them, the constellations are clear but with peripheral vision there are a million stars beyond the stars and it's a tapestry of light.
The Milky Way streams overhead and every walk is accompanied by Orion, Taurus, the Pleiades, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Pegasus, the Great Bear ... and other constellations that I've yet to identify. On a very clear night I can just work out Monoceros, the unicorn.
As spring continues, of course, I will be walking in the sunsets and then in the dusk with the coming of midsummer. Every night I walk, is a good night, because I can do it. Yes, sometimes it's annoying and inconvenient and just simply 'bleah' but it is part of the holistic treatment. And for the first time in my life since I was six, I have slender thighs...
After I wrote this, my friend Rachel sent me this by Rilke: