I find myself staring at the moon more and more.
It started in 2014 when Genevieve and I began writing Star Dust (yes, we’ve been working on this series for that long). The core of that book is the hero and heroine sitting in the dark saying things they wouldn’t otherwise. Secret confessions and wants and dreams and hopes, all accompanied by the stars.
To write those conversations, I would walk Gromit, my dog, late at night and contemplate the few constellations you can see in my suburban neighborhood. There is a lot of light pollution, but Orion is there. So is Taurus, which Kit shows Anne-Marie how to find. But mostly the moon dominates the view.
There are nights when the moon is so beautiful it hurts to look at it, and I can only manage a few brief glances. When it’s full, it seems so close I’ve reached up as if to nudge the craters with my fingertips. Lately, it’s been a gold scythe in the sky slicing through the blackness.
Scientists estimate the moon’s age to be 4.5 billion years, a number we have because humans went and collected rock samples. As in actual humans walked on the actual surface of the actual moon.
At this point, I’ve read so much space history, I should be accustomed to this fact. Hell, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about it. But every night, when Gromit and I are strolling in the dark, and the moon appears between the branches of the oak trees lining my street, I can’t get over it. Human beings walked on the moon.
Lately I’d rather look up than down. Things are happening on earth that have me transfixed and heartbroken and from which we’re all beginning to need an escape. While I’ve struggled to write, books and art and love seem more important than ever.
But so, in some ways, does the moon. It’s been there for 4.5 billion years, almost as long as the earth itself. Dinosaurs saw the moon, so did Neanderthals. And no matter what happens, it’ll still be there, too lovely to be believed.