last sunday night's perigee moon was one of three perigee moons this year, the moon appearing 30% brighter than normal and appearing 14% bigger as it reached the point of its orbit closest to earth - 221,765 away, but the closest it ever comes.
this perigee or supermoon was the second, and biggest, of a trio of supermoons to appear in our skies this summer.
on july 12, a smaller supermoon occurred, while on september 9 another is due to appear. the next after that will be september 29, 2015.
and isn't perigee a cool word? peri-near, gea-earth.
well, guess what a big, huge, full, super moon means for this early-morning cyclist?
yep, you're right: an incredible ride without a headlight.
last monday morning I walked my bicycle out of the garage and was confused by how bright it was outside: had I somehow lost an hour? usually 4:50 is ink dark, and it was lit as though by street lamps everywhere. I grinned and looked up, and saw the moon grinning back at me. everywhere.
I must have smiled the entire way up the canyon, riding through moon shadows made by trees lining the road. I'd turn my front light on whenever I saw or heard a car approaching, and then quickly turn it off once they passed.
the question, of course, is why. why is this such a delight? and the only answer that will unveil itself to me is that the absence of artificial light draws me that much closer to the natural world. the real world. the earth, rocks, hills and trees that surround and support us. losing my battery-powered light allows me access to the authentic dawn, which comes subtly and particle by particle as I move slowly through it all. I myself become subtle, I blend into my surroundings. I am one with the morning, more peaceful, more delighted by my moon-given opportunity to shed edison's invention.