Waning Gibbous

Rumor has it we’re under a waning gibbous moon tonight.

Gibbous, adjective: more than half, but less than fullly illuminated (used of a moon or planet). Waning, verb: decreasing gradually in size.

It’s currently missing in action, instead preferring to appear when our eyelids are heavy — either from the day’s labors or following an evening of imbibing. Tonight, this less-than-full moon will make its appearance around 11pm, and I’m sorry to say that — in my old age — I may not be up to behold its arrival.

I was outside a while ago, and it looked as though a low and slow-moving rainstorm was passing just to the east of me. Instead, it was the smoke from the Disneyland fireworks, its remnants streaking across the sky and enjoying illumination from the nearby stadium. If I didn’t live in Anaheim with The Happiest Place on Earth nearby — as well as a well-lit field on which to play sports — the sight would’ve creeped me out. It was slightly eerie, but it reminded me once again that it was fall. The air was crisp, and a jack-o-lantern from across the street beamed at me; its orange, toothy grin — while distant — was clear as day.

Every year around this time, I start doing certain fall-like things. I get in the mood to make pies. And roasts. I like dumping a bottle of Merlot into a pot on the stove and making a batch of mulled wine. Then on Halloween, I watch one of my favorite double-headers: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. I love this time of year.

I’m a fan of fires in the fireplace, and I like to wake up early on fall mornings to tend to the garden plants that are otherwise too difficult to attend to during the warmer months. Our cold may not be like the rest of the country’s cold, but it’s festive, and it gets me moving.

Despite the shorter days, it’s usually the time of year that I also like to go for walks in the evening. On particularly chilly California nights, I may even arrive home with an earache from the chill in the air, but a cup of tea makes everything all better.

Tonight, I am decidedly in a fall state of mind — likely leftover from last night’s post — and, after an evening and dinner spent at a local British pub, I realize that I am thankful for the fellowship of friends, for the moon whose illumination is dwindling slowly in size, and I liken it to our own existence throughout the year: joyous following the holidays, bright and sunshiney during June, July and August, then gradually slowing down and going into a hibernation of sorts during our winter months. May we wane in our brightness only to enjoy the offerings the cold and shorter days have to bestow upon us, but may we always look forward to a full moon and sharing our illumination with others throughout the year.

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