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Séamus O Drisceoil
|Moonbow, A Chriustmas Gift from Chuck Kruger
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
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
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.
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