Saturday, July 30, 2005

5 Moons and Counting

Since our move to Metropolis I haven't been as cognizant of this as in Salerno, but we have now been in Afghanistan long enough to witness the waning and waxing of 5 full moons. Here in BAF all the nocturnal celestial bodies are fairly well neutralized by the plethora of lights. Having not had to use a flashlight for 2 full months now, It takes a conscious effort to remember how much of this country lives and dies, sometimes literally, around the phases of the moon.


Having flown almost directly from the modernization of Germany to Salerno back in February the sudden absence of illumination at night was only minimized by the fact that majority of the moon was still visible. Within a little better than a week however, the illuminated portion decreased to a sliver then quickly vanished and the dark seemed to swallow us. I had never been in a place so spartan and devoid of light that I could actually gauge how much our visibility decreased when the stars were obscured by clouds.


By the second week in March as the illuminated portion of the moon expanded to it's full circumference you could have sworn that it was bright enough to play baseball in the middle of the night. It was a mixed blessing though because along with the illumination came the heightened probability of rocket attacks. Given the options of stumbling through the dark or sitting in moonlit bunkers we much preferred a moonless night with it's breathtaking display of stars.


That said, I still keep an eye on the moon at night, praying for the safety of those in greater places of danger than here when it is full, and wishing I was someplace darker when it waning so I could witness the full majesty of the stars. All the time, though,  I welcome each little change because I know that less than 7 more of these lunar cycles will be witnessed from this place that both resembles and revolves around the moon.



Kirk Frazee said...

Very well put sir. The darkness is spreading over the sabres here at Salerno once again.

devildog6771 said...

What a beautifully written piece this was. I could actually see in my mind everything you described. That picture is a beautiful accompanment. Take care sir. God Bless you. and keep you safe these next 5 moons.