It’s almost midnight and I’m out walking Daisy (yea, I know, kinda late). It’s cold and clear and immensely quiet, and even with the streetlight’s brightness, the light of the full moon still makes it’s presence felt. The sharp shadows of tree limbs and back yard sheds spreading across the snowless, brown lawns.
And just like that, a memory quickly kicks me back to a mountain pass deep in the wilderness somewhere above the chaos of Aspen’s winter sprawl. Midnight. My friend, John and I on cross country skis. In the brilliant, blue light of a full moon. Where the sparse trees high up near the pass look like they were planned and planted in some celestial park design. And we are up to our knees in weightless, shimmering snow, making our way up and down the narrowing ravine, just below the pass.
I had never seen anything so clear, so clean, so quiet. A huge sphere silently radiating it’s ethereal presence in a thousand hues of virgin blue. Tree shadows stretching down from the pass, the darkest of blues. Two figures weaving through them with the echoes of their giggly laughter careening all around. And then the whispy, deep trails left behind, temporary evidence of a brief, chance moment in time that could not be planned, nor ever repeated again.
It was the highlight of an overnight trek. A stay in a tiny AMC cabin with no electricity, a rusting wood stove and rough, wooden barracks to keep our sleeping bags off the floor. John Hammond (no, not the musician) three other people he knew (whom I can’t remember), and me.
When I awoke the following morning, the others were already out in the brilliant Colorado sunshine, on their skies, slicing through the deep powder all over the mountain pass. I had the runs and missed the morning adventure. I took Imodium, hoping to quell my stomach before we had to head back down. It worked and I was able to complete the trip without accident.
But the vision of the previous night was worth the next day’s troubles. It’s stayed with me now, some fifty odd years later. Still as bright and otherworldly as the night it happened. Just waiting to be rekindled by a simple walk with a friendly pup who has to do her business before we head to bed.
One thought on “The Elder Chronicles: Winter Full Moon Light”
What a beautiful personal experience you brought to life through your elegant prose. Thank you for sharing such a precious memory . You have a gift, my friend .