The Moon Doesn’t Shine

Since moving to Tennessee, I have been in awe of the magnitude of the sky. It may be the lack of the smog covering that clouded my view when I lived in Los Angeles, or the inability to imagine life without power lines in my backyard in Costa Mesa, but I’ve never appreciated it before like I do now. I eagerly await to put my kids into bed at night, even though I adore them, so I can rush outside and take my leisurely, thought swirling stroll down my driveway with my two huskies running alongside me in the grass.

The path I walk on, non-existent on a cloudy day, is perfectly lit by the glow from the moon which parades the stars across the night sky. Lighting up every nook and cranny of the Oak Trees planted in my front yard. I just stare at the Oak Trees as if I am waiting for them to spring to life like the giant anthropomorphic yew tree from A Monster Calls, created by Patrick Ness. I hope the trees lift up their roots out the soil, walk over to me, challenge my biggest doubts and confront me on all my fears. The vastness of the night sky reminds me that I am pleasantly small. Pleasantly meaningless. Pleasantly minuscule. Through this harsh but enlightening reality my ego is put in check while unraveling the tightly wound, worldly burdens I carry on my back. I love the power of the moon in a night sky.

You can imagine my shattering disappointment when I learned that the moon itself does not actually shine. It simply reflects the sunlight from the sun.

I though to myself, “All this time I was giving the moon all the credit for exposing this world to me and it didn’t even deserve it.”

However, I thought longer about this moral predicament I found myself in and relinquished my quick judgement to take credit from the moon. The moon is doing the work. It is set perfectly in the right location to light up our world, and while doing so it has the courage to expose all of its craters and valleys. Through this brave reflection I see the world in a new way that doesn’t exist in daylight.

We are full of craters, valleys and a harsh exterior. We find ourselves hiding from the sun to not expose all the ugliness of who we are, but in doing so find ourselves magnifying the traits that forced us into hiding. It’s impossible to glow alone. We need something, someone to reflect, and when we find ourselves exposed, humbly waiting to show the world our surface, we not only find our exterior glowing, but we find ourselves lighting up the world for others. Our leadership, our character, our integrity, are all reflections of the people we choose to surround ourselves with in life. Through these people we have the ability to bring the Oak Tree to life, its knotted roots stomping across our land challenging the very depths of our souls. We choose which sun we have the desire to reflect. If you find yourself in darkness at night, then it may be time to understand the weakness of who you are reflecting. Life is far too short to not light up the world for someone else.

And to think, the moon only reflects less than 10% of sunlight…

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