With the rain pouring down with flashes of light followed by thunderclap while my oversized dachshund-mutt cowers under my desk might seem an odd time to reflect on a clear and sunny afternoon. Still, reflection, to some degree, requires loss, a period of mourning for that which is lost, even if that loss is a moment in time. If I could look up towards the Moon in a clear sky, my thoughts would be of the now instead of the then.
Though the Moon hanging in the daytime sky is a predictable and logical occurrence dictated by physics, seeing it there, a pale white and grey quarter amongst the blue, amazes me still. Ever since, as a child, I first saw the Moon above me, I harbored a since of awe about Earth’s closest relative.
Ancient man looked upon that ball of rock and proclaimed it a god. Plants and insects react to its glow and we can only imagine how the beasts of epochs past gazed upon it. Man learned to navigate by its light, to place its eerie reflection into folklore, to fight by it; symbolizing it. In the modern era, man dreamt of reaching out to Luna and then set out and greeted our celestial partner. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Pete Condrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Eugene Cernan, and Jack Schmitt trod upon it while overhead Thomas Stafford, Michael Collins, Richard Gordon, Stuart Roosa, Alfred Worden, Thomas Mattingly, and Ronald Evans gazed down on a surface they would never touch, not knowing if any of the men below would return to them, if they would have to make the journey home in silence while those stranded men said their goodbyes. Frank Borman, William Anders, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise would fly by the surface and Jim Lovell would miss the surface on two occasions.
Now we dream of returning, placing our feet permanently upon its surface, affixing humanity to its ground to raise new generations and launching ourselves further into the celestial sphere; to go beyond the heavens, beyond our mortality as a species, to challenge even the heat death of the universe itself as the stars go out. The often symbol of insanity is now a praxis of hope, how fitting it is then that Apollo has dominion over colonists.