The Broken Moon

I swear it was broken.

It reminded me of one of those heart-shaped necklaces that had been split in two, with one side reading “friends,” and the other reading “forever.”

Only it was in the sky. And I couldn’t figure out why it was broken.

There was a huge crack running through it, from top to bottom. I thought that maybe it was something on my windshield, until I noticed three people waiting at the crosswalk looking at it, too.

Yep, definitely broken.

Maybe I should get a picture of it, I thought, and send it off to The Weather Channel or something. It was sure to bring 15 minutes of fame. Or at least 15 seconds. OK, or none.

I rifled through my purse, found my iPhone, navigated my way to the camera, opened my moonroof and was ready to capture the magic when I noticed that it was gone.

The crack was no more. Suddenly, it was whole again.

The moon had recently risen and was hovering over Saddleback Mountain. The sky was a pale turquoise, and the moon was a calming shade of ivory; there seemed to be a soft, fuzzy glow around it.

An airplane’s contrails had merged and formed a single, thick, barely visible line just outside of the moon’s shape. That must’ve been the culprit. It was such a dense strip that seeing through it was impossible; it did a wonderful job of tricking the eye into thinking that there was no possible way it was obscuring any part of the moon. The moon had simply cracked, but each side remained with the other. Broken, but together.

Stuff breaks. All the time, every day. Sometimes it’s broken for good, other times it just seems like it is, but an indicator lurks nearby and tells of something else that is afoot. We tweak and prod and tinker and adjust things all the time — things that aren’t broken, but which we think need fixing. They say we shouldn’t do this, but we do. We meddle. We’re human.

For continuing education in the area of broken vs. not, and for the lessons that roll in on a daily basis regarding what to mess with and what to leave well enough alone, what to try to capture in the moment and what to let pass, I am thankful.

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