Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

-John Keats

Last night, Tisen started sticking his head under my mouse-hand, making it impossible to work.  I eventually took the hint and got his leash.

As we entered the park, I looked East and saw a bright glow coming from the ridge.  “Crap!” I said aloud, and then looked to see if anyone heard me.  Saved from embarrassment by solitude, I moved Tisen into a trot thinking we could make it around our 2/3 mile loop in time for the moonrise.

I told myself I was being foolish–the moonrise lasts only a few minutes.  As we made our way down the path, I looked over my shoulder to see if we were missing it.  The light glowed strongly through the trees in the park.  Once again, I said, “Crap!” but this time, there was a man walking behind us.  I might have blushed a little.

I tried to rush Tisen, but this resulted only in him pausing mid-sniff to give me a perplexed look.  When we made it around the next corner, I realized the glowing light I saw through the trees was a well-lit building.  There was hope!

When at last we got back to where I could see the ridge, the glow I had spotted on the way out remained unchanged.  I squinted and saw it was actually a billboard on the side of the hill.

I pulled out my phone and checked the time.  It was only 6:32.  The moon rose at 5:44PM officially the night before . . . the last time I shot the moon rising behind the ridge, it didn’t appear until 15-20 minutes after the official moonrise time . . . the moon usually rises about 40 minutes later each night than the night before . . . there was hope!

I had not missed the moonrise at all.  Perhaps Keats understood the moon better than Juliet–steadfast in its predictability.

Arriving on our rooftop, a glow started to appear behind the ridge.  I positioned the top of the ridge low in the frame to cut out a brightly lit window in a house below the ridge.  Not liking the composition, I reframed including the window and shot again.  As I check the image through my loupe, I realize it was not a window I was seeing at all–it was the moon!  I nearly swooned to death.