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Odes

Ode to the Sun and Moon

Ode to the Sun

The sun is power. It produces the energy that provides us with all of the food that we have, all of the amazing plants and animals that depend on them, much of the building materials we use for shelter, and some of the cleanest energy around. It is the single most dependable thing we have. It provides light and warmth. Being able to see things is one of the best parts of the entire world, and the look of those things under the sun is the most natural and often beautiful ways to experience this wonder. The appearance of sunlight when leaving a cave is feeling of synesthesia—you can actually see the warmth of the light as it colors the world. The early morning sunlight on plants and rocks is one of energy and renewed hope, guaranteed at the end of each night and yet welcome every time. Sun on plants conducting photosynthesis is a wonder to be found in the sciences including everything from chemistry to physics to biology. The sun itself is a mind-boggling wonder of the works of physics and nuclear chemistry to produce energy and various different elements even as it has impressive colors and flares and the most powerful of magnetic fields. The Earth’s relationship with the sun is binding as anything and as natural as may be. It determines our year, our seasons, our days. The dividing line of the night and day is called the terminator, and it can feel as such a wonder is lost to us for the space of a night.

 

Ode to the Moon

The moon is magical. It is the source of light in the darkness. It draws on the tides and defined our months. It transforms and sails through both day and night. It phases from new and invisible to full and so bright you can read by it. It always has the same face towards the earth and can indicate where the sun is. It took me years and eventually a bonfire with a tennis ball to figure out how the phases of the moon work. It took an astronomy class to link those phases with times of day and night for the rising and setting of the moon. A full moon rising is easily mistaken as a city on the horizon. It takes a while to realize that the warm orange-yellow light is in fact the rising moon and then there are few more beautiful things in the world as it lifts above the horizon silhouetting the terrain and vegetation first in black and then lining them in pure silver light. The sight of the moon in water is enchanting, and the contrasted silver pathway and black ripples paves a cobblestone road into the world of mystery. The outlining of trees and rock formations bring a new light to their presence and beauty, the sight of which can make you so very tempted to leave the real world behind in favor of the fey. The patterns on the moon of highlands and maria have entranced us continuously from the man to the lady to the rabbit and the very true nature of volcanic plains and craters rather than seas or cheese. Each brings its own share of human observation and ingenuity flavored by some of the most creative thoughts that can be had. It is the only place outside of Earth that humans have actually visited, and its formation tells of cataclysmic collisions in the formation of the solar system. For me, the moon is both in its duality. It is the secrets and mystery of magic, yet it is also the light-bringing clarity of thought and science. They play back and forth to reveal at times the wonder of the world and its nature as well as the unfathomable secrets that wait to wax into clarity.