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观月 Moon Set


  As I've gotten older, the joy of “1)sleeping in” has become a thing of the past, so I'm awake most days by 5:30 or so. There are many benefits to being an early riser, not the least of which is enjoying magnificent sunrises. This morning, however, I witnessed another of Mother Nature's spectacular shows—a moonset.
  Whenever the moon is full, I have trouble sleeping anyway, so often when I awaken in the middle of those nights, I'll go outside just to 2)bask in moonlight. It is so much softer and feels gentler than sunlight, making everything appear more attractive, like the filming techniques used for aging movie stars years ago.
  I'd read that Mars would be making an appearance, so when I awakened a little after five, I went out on the deck to see what I could see. And there was the big 3)old moon, hanging right in front of me. Off to the left, and much higher in the sky, I saw one bright star—could that be Mars?
  I live on 4)Hilton Head Island, a major destination for visitors from around the world. Our villa is situated in a perfect location—a short walk takes me to a lovely little shopping area that holds a post office, several shops and restaurants, and my hairdresser. A short bike ride in the opposite direction takes me to work; on the way, I pass a few 5)lagoons and a tidal creek, where I always check for 6)alligators or various coastal birds. It's a slow, peaceful life that I love with a surprisingly deep passion.
  You see, I'm a city girl. I was born and raised in 7)Philadelphia. I loved the energy and, yes, even the noise that comes with city living. I never imagined that I would fall in love with the natural beauty of a small 8)barrier island in 9)South Carolina, of all places! But falling in love is exactly what I did—hard. And forever. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. My life here is 10)soothing, and feeds my creativity because to be inspired, all I need do is walk out the door.
  Our deck overlooks a lagoon, and the fountain in the middle made soothing sounds as I sipped my coffee and watched the moon slipping down the sky. Once they begin their descent, I'm always surprised by how fast the sun or moon set. Before it disappeared behind the tall 11)live oaks across the lagoon, the moon played hide and seek behind some clouds. The clouds were barely visible, blending into the sky which was turning a sharper blue as it lightened into day. 12)Wisps would pass across the moon's face, making it 13)momentarily 14)spooky with a Halloween look. But soon the moon would reappear, so full, and looking close enough to grasp in the palm of my hand.
  All too soon, the clouds grew thicker, the moon descended below the treetops, and my lunar encounter was at an end. I lingered over my 15)lukewarm coffee, reluctant to go inside and begin the 16)mundane routine with which we all prepare for work. But this day would be different—it began with 17)wonderment.
  Who could ask for a better beginning for the blessing of another day in paradise?