One night, when the moon was heavy and full, its curiosity got the best of it. It slowly lowered itself through sapphire clouds and rippling twilight…it shouldered its way past bristling stars, past their astronomical arrangements that made the sky a sparkling atlas. Down these gilded maps it flew on its celestial quest.
It avoided the tangles of constellations, the frosted galaxies filled with light and planets. It sank through sediments of discolored atmospheres and foreign gravities. It was curious about the earth, for sometimes a satellite wants to look its owner in the face.
The far-off patterns of continents were intriguing: the broken coastlines cutting into oceans, mountains lying as still as skeletons. For too long the moon had gazed on the distant countries and waters, longing to cool their exotic surfaces, to learn the sun’s warming trick.
But the moon was also reckless. It swooped below the gray horizon, past cars and houses, closely above people – who, if they had only looked up, would have seen an amazing sight. It then came upon a tree: barren and cold, not yet softened by the year’s first crop of blossoms. The tree’s branches caught the moon, like a bright, luminous fish. In the moon’s struggles, the branches pierced its sides, and sluices of light flowed down the trunk until the bark shone like a radiant ghost.
The light of the moon was broken into pieces as the tree balanced the unruly planet. Like a cathedral window, the moon’s color was divided by a disruptive linear world. Suffering in foreign atmospheres, it missed the populous heavens, the pure, glowing night. In its loneliness, it felt the disapproving eye of its mother Diana, who – impatiently adjusting her ropes of stars and her illuminated crown – wondered what she would do with her lunar child.
Harnessed and still, the moon waited. Losing its life’s blood of light, it grew smaller as it began to wane. Eventually the tree loosened its grip…and the moon once again rose into the sky – a half, a quarter or maybe even a crescent of its former self.