We had popped over to a friend’s place who had asked us to check on their animals that night. Driving home around 7:30, we topped a rise headed eastbound and beheld a near-full moon just inching above the horizon. Huge, oblong, glowing deep orange, it was the sort of moon one normally associates with crisp fall evenings. Yet here it was, practically throbbing with color, over the icy fields of January with perfectly arranged threads of cloud streaking its surface. We caught several more glimpses as we curved up, down, and around the hilly terrain near home, culminating with a complete view hanging over our valley as we carefully descended the icy hill into the farm. At this point the color was gone, drained into the pale glow of a frozen winter night, though still beautiful.
If anyone besides ourselves happened to be outside early Saturday evening, in the near-single-digit temperatures, they would have seen a beautiful sight.
I love moments like these, the brief and memorable glimpses of something rare in the world. We get these often on the farm, moments that you might try hard to find yet never achieve, but are waiting to be found if you’re outside enough and aware enough to catch them when they appear. We always wish we had a good camera handy, but sometimes plain memory is enough. The memory of topping that first hill and letting out a gasp of simple wonder, then sharing it between us on a quiet ride home. The memory of understanding how to appreciate something simple.