I love to gaze at the moon. I’m not sure why and I’m not sure what I think about while staring at it. I just love to see it. There’s nothing better on a cold, crisp winter evening than to look into the cold, dark sky and to see the moon shining for all it is worth. While a full moon is beautiful to behold, I’m a fan of the crescent moon.
A crescent moon shape is thought to have many symbolic meanings. I like it for its simple beauty and clean lines. I like the points on either end and how its shape tapers in between. And when I look upon the moon I often wonder who else may be looking. Think about it. It’s up there for virtually everyone to see. How many others take a moment to stop and notice it?
By now you know I taught English for many years and have been an avid reader since early childhood. I first read The Outsiders when I was a pre-teen. It was 1970-ish and I thought it would be so cool to be a Greaser and belong to a gang. Even the idea of being an orphan appealed to me. There are many lessons to be learned from this novel. One of the best is when the narrator, Ponyboy Curtis, a Greaser, is talking to fellow high school student Cherry Valance, a Soc. The Socs were the elite group in high school and the Greasers were the have-nots. Pony and Cherry spend time talking about life. Pony realizes they are in different social strata, yet are just teenagers trying to live their lives.
“It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.” (S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders) As different as their lives are, they each enjoy looking at sunsets. Do they see the same image or is it influenced by their circumstances? It isn’t difficult to see this metaphor playing out in all of our lives.
The other evening I saw a beautiful crescent moon sitting in a deep blue sky as twilight approached. It was so beautiful it almost took my breath away. I wondered if anyone else was noticing the same sight at the same moment. Then I remembered Pony and Cherry’s chat about sunsets. Applied to today’s situations of unrest and divisiveness, I wondered why people are unable to see the merits of some of our health care concerns. So much is unsettled in this country. More people need to stop and think about how we can look at the moon or the sun and see something similar, yet we are unable to look at social and medical concerns and see the same things. It’s a pretty simple concept, right?