I sat at the beach on Sunday night, feeling the twilit sand in my feet, cooling my warm and melancholy blood. In the distance, I could see the mountains of the North Bay, silently standing in front of the horizon, dimming the sun and painting the sky red, pink, and yellow. The silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge stung my irises, and sent a shiver down my spine.
My head and neck beckoned me to turn around, and I did so, seeing the moon’s full face, reflecting the same light that the horizon refracted into the far corners of my eyes. In that same moment, I felt the pang of homesickness wash over me like the bay’s cool waves that washed up on the shore that evening. In that moment, I wanted my first home and all the people in it, but I didn’t want to leave my new home and all of the people and experiences here.
But when I looked back at the horizon–when I looked back at the quiet hills of Marin–I realized that they were silent because the sun’s beauty was all too radiant, and that I would not be able to see the sun’s beauty, if not for the momentary silence of the hills’. It’s similar to the absence of the horizon’s refracted beauty in the midst of the day’s bright hours. While the sunset is quieted, the distant beauty of the hills can be loud and bright. Or like the presence of a full moon, brightening the darkness of a night, meanwhile silencing the twinkling of distant stars.
Sometimes, though, the moon is new; it’s not bright like it was on Sunday night. Instead, it turns its back to us. And even though we miss the moon, the stars can shine brighter in its absence. In these moments, it seems that the man in the moon is trying to remind us of something. The man in the moon, in his temporary slumber, reminds us that we can’t have it all.
But we can always have something… and that something is beautiful.