I reached instead for my robe and slipped down the stairs to light the kettle for tea. With mug in hand I went out into the early morning to watch the moon descend. Over my shoulder the eastern sky was just beginning to pale. I stood entranced, looking first in one direction and then the other, never able to see both the rising sun and the setting moon at once though I knew the waxing and waning lights were simultaneous and single-sourced.
It put me in mind of beginnings and endings, how one is always the source of the other. As I turned full circle in the chill dawn, watching the growing daylight dininish the moon's brialliance, I could see between surise and moonset the workings of the world; always, always the slow turn from beginning to end to beginning, on and on, the circle spiraling up and up without pause, always different, always the same.
My feet were touching ground they had danced on in childhood, but the grass I stood on then had died and renewed itself a thousand times over. The last of the pink phlox that bloomed bravely in the waning season of the border garden were descendants of those my mother planted, no longer connected to her hands save through my memory. Caught between daylight and darkness, I was made to understand the that the two exist simultaneously. It is only my limited vision that forces me to perceive one at a time.
The soft rush of traffic in the distance gradually became a muted thunder. Two cars passed me standing there, one headed toward the moon, the other into the sun. A few small birds twittered in the roadside hedge, crows called across the meadow and a small chill breeze brushed my cheek. I kept turning in awe, watching the light change the landscape into everyday ordinariness, realizing suddenly that it had been extraordinary all along.
Try as I might, I could only face one direction. The maples that fringed the feet of the western mountains glowed scarlet in the fading moonlight. The trees that protected the brook to the east lifted their spires into a rose-colored sky. For a moment, my entire world was awash in gold-tinged pink. The moon and sun faced one another, one haloed in mist, the other surrounded by pale light. Caught in the middle, I turned slowly, face lit first by moon glow and then by sunlight until at last I stood still, closed my eyes, and saw them both at once.