By the Light of the Moon

Last night I went walking by the light of the moon. I was in a group, and we strode on a trail beside a riverbed, so we didn’t have to deal with traffic, which is just as well. Even with the full moon, we would have been invisible to drivers. (I couldn’t see the couple who walked in front of my car as I drove to the rendezvous until I was almost on them. Good thing they were aware of me, though it wasn’t bright of them to be so careless.)

I don’t remember ever taking a moonlit walk before. When I was a young adult, before I got my car (the same one I have now, incidentally) I walked to work, and I often had to hike home alone in the dark. I suppose during many of those city nights there had been a visible moon, but streetlights brought the sky in close, so something as far away as the moon would not have been as impressive or as memorable as the moon last night.

I do remember one particular night walk — it had to have been almost twenty-five years ago when my now deceased life mate/soul mate was still strong and healthy and up for adventure. We were living in a small town. Snow had fallen, and no one was about. No cars were on the road. All was still. Not even a hint of a breeze. We could hear the crunch of pristine snow beneath our feet, and the almost cathedral-like silence. It was bright — we weren’t walking in pitch black — but I don’t know if the light came from a moon or from ambient light reflected off the snow. We only walked a few blocks to a small town square. We stood there for a few minutes, enjoying the magical night, and then we headed back.

I don’t recall any other night walks. We spent the last couple of decades in ranching country, and an irrigation ditch ran in front of the house. Stagnant water. Mosquitoes. Need I say more? Well, maybe I do. I’m sensitive to mosquito venom — the bites always make me sick — so as much as possible I stayed inside when evening came. Besides, I didn’t much like the thought of meeting a coyote or a fox (or even an angry dog) on that empty country road.

So last night was a treat. A cool, clear, autumn evening with a hint of a breeze. A few stars. And a moon so bright in the huge empty sky, it cast our shadows on the pathway.

A walk worth remembering. A walk worth writing about.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

4 Responses to “By the Light of the Moon”

  1. Juliet Waldron Says:

    Nice to have some congenial folks to walk with–a beautiful moon. I walked over the hill and found a semi-clear-of-clutter spot to see it. Missed the eclipse, tho. Think it happened here in the East while the moon was still v. close to the horizon.
    And the wonder of new snow! Unfortunately, usually spoiled by people with their damn snow blowers. I’ve taken to walking during storms in order to get a little silence.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I never much liked the idea of walking in a group, but it turns out it’s a wonderful way of meeting people and a social event that’s actually worthwile.

      I didn’t even know there was an eclipse that night. There wasn’t one here, at any rate, otherwise I would have seen it.

      I have more problems with ATVs than snow blowers. People go out in the desert and spoil the sacredness of the place.

  2. Coco Ihle Says:

    Your post exuded such serenity and peace, even happiness. It warmed my heart.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      How strange to think that after all these years of grief, I have found serenity, peace, and happiness. Even stranger to think that those qualities shine through my writing. Thank you for letting me know!

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