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  Moonbow, A Chriustmas Gift from Chuck Kruger

Moonbow A Christmas Gift On ritual way to bed I step outside for a final peek at December’s stars and moon, the pulsing Fastnet Lighthouse beam, neighbours’ lights, the weather. And what towers before me but a vast white arc. In all my seventy-plus years, I’ve never seen such an act of nature. I gawk and I gawk and I dash inside for Nell and we stand spell-bound beneath this arc of whiteness, a pure dramatic gentle gauzy white. To the east, toward the newly-risen wildly radiant Christmas moon, the sky gleams with stars, Orion just emerging from the horizon, the Pleiades distinct in their little clearing of black, our own tiny galaxy the Milky Way heading fainter and fainter straight for the moon; and to the west no stars at all but a misty rain falling perhaps but a hundred yards away. I glance at my fisherman’s watch, read that the moon’s five days plus past full. After some five or twenty-five minutes of simply staring at this gift – and trying to take in what we guess to be a lunar rainbow, a rainbow filled with the white light of the effulgent moon – we decide sadly yet happily it’s time to head for bed, our heads packed with what we feel nature’s midnight benediction, something straight out of the fourth dimension. The next day, as I’m hopping out of bed, my memories of the previous night alive and well, I switch on the radio, hear in the opening sentence the word moonbow, a word I’ve never heard before and what I assume refers to the kind of phenomenon we saw the previous night. I head for my study, do some quick research before breakfast, learn that there are many names for the rarity we witnessed: fog bow, lunar bow, moonbow, white rainbow, night-time rainbow, mother bow. And that, amongst Native Americans, especially the Cherokee and Shawnee people, a tradition of worshipping this moonbow goes back 3,000 years. They experienced the moonbow “as a distinct sign from the great Spirit” that gave them a “blessing”. I realize I’ve been unconsciously in a long line worth the wait. Nor can I imagine a finer present from Nature than what our eyes and hearts have just unwrapped. **** MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR to you , Seamus & Brid, Aodh & Shane & Fay! Chuck & Nell December 2009

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