Moonshadows

4am in the morning the rooster crowed. I woke and went outside the cabin. The grass was damp and cold. I looked up, directly over the trees, my eyes drawn to the brightest moon I have ever seen.

Full, large, and shining in the night sky. I looked around me and there were distinct shadows cast by the clothesline, maypole, trees and me. No wonder the rooster thought it was dawn.

In the chill air I was struck by the clarity and beauty of things. Little colour, but near light as day. Life seemed simple and pure.

Cat Stevens sings about Moonshadows. To me the song is about gratitude and acceptance:

I ever lose my eyes
If my colours all run dry
yes, if I ever lose my eyes
oh if …
I won’t have to cry no more.

It’s a calm and gentle acceptance of suffering and loss. It also implicitly conveys gratitude for what we do have, in a pure clear way like the shadows cast by the moon, darkness against darkness. This verse though is the one that struck me the most:

Did it take long to find me
I ask the faithful light
Ooh did it take long to find me
And are you going to stay the night

To me the faithful light is like the inner light, perhaps cooler and less distant that sunlight. Sunlight either is, or isn’t. Dark and light are more distinct during the day. The ‘faithful light’ is more tolerant, dark and light coexist, merging at the edges. That’s like suffering, gratitude and love. They’re all part of the same life.

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2 Responses to “Moonshadows”

  1. Carrie Says:

    I’ve always loved the song Moonshadows. We sang it at my summer camp around the campfire. Were you at the cabin at Arthur’s Pass? Every so often I look around Chicago and think, “Why did we leave New Zealand?” but things are going well for us here. I miss the NZ YF community (I still get the emails) and I wish the YFs around here were as active.

  2. Julian Says:

    It was at the cabin at Journey’s End, where we had JYF camp. We miss you guys too. You must come back one day.

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