THERE is magic in the moonlight, and always has been. It quite possibly exists only in the fleeting moment, yet abides outside of time.
One night about 10 years ago, the moon hung so full, yellow, and close to the horizon as twilight fell that I had to share the sight with my friend Cecil, now departed. I called and asked if he’d seen the moon that night, and he said no, he hadn’t been outside. “You have to go right now, and take a look!,” I told him. “It is breathtaking!” So he did, and there we each stood in our front yards, phones to our ears, he in Coral Gables and I in Shenandoah/ Little Havana, gazing up at the sky.
“Paulie, I can’t see a thing,” he said. “Nothing but gray clouds up there in this neck of the woods, tonight.” I was crestfallen. “Oh,” I breathed. It was so beautiful from where I stood; it didn’t seem right. “But I just love it that you called me to go and look at the moon! It reminds me of this wonderful quote. It’s one of my favorites. It goes…” Then he cut himself short. ” I’m not going to even try and repeat it now, and mangle it.”
“I’ll go ahead and email it to you, when I get back inside.” And sure enough, a message from Cecil awaited in my inbox. Here’s the quote that he’d been moved to share with me that night:
Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.”
― Paul Bowles, “The Sheltering Sky”
May the most magical moments be yours.