The Moon’s Canvas

by Soul Places | Diane Ludeking

I have an affinity for the moon.  Perhaps it is because I am a Pisces, a water sign, and the moon controls the water like a marionette directs the puppet.  Perhaps it is because I am a fair skinned strawberry blonde and the sun makes me cringe and retreat to the shelter of a shade tree as though I may spontaneously combust with too much fire exposure.  Perhaps it is because the moon casts the subtlest shadows in the deep of night, encouraging child-like exploration.  Whatever the reason, I found myself seeking the moonlight more than usual this past full moon cycle.


Every night for the week leading up to and following the climax of the full moon, I drove to the farm where I board my horses.  My faithful, gray-muzzled Golden Retriever, Dallas, accompanied me in the back seat with his head hanging out the window.  Faintly illuminated by the moon, I see his loose lips and eyelids flapping in the cool breeze.


With feed bucket slung over my arm we embark on our nightly quest for moon cast shadows.  Tree branches rub together in the wind making creaking sounds reminiscent of ancient hinges on a door someone forgot to latch.  The hum of night creatures accompanies us with their own curiosity in tow.  We follow the trail up the hill as I call quietly for my equine friends.  Emerging first from the shadows each night is my twenty year old companion, Handsome, in search of his nightly meal.


As he munches and sighs under the magnificent oak trees, four more horses materialize to become the perfect blank canvas for the moonlight.  My other horse, Joey, comes the closest and stands with Handsome, Dallas and I in the serene embrace of night.  I begin tracing with my fingertips the shadows of the trees on Joey’s body.  He tolerates this for a time and then maneuvers his powerful hindquarters in a way that says quite clearly: “Scratch here.  Right now!”


“Joey, I’m trying to have a moment here,” I laugh at him, losing my place on his canvas and then obligingly begin to relieve his itches.  Walking mindfully among the herd I note the different patterns cast on their bodies by the shimmer of the full moon.  The muted light does not balk at the obstacles of trees, animals and weeds as it makes its way to its final destination.  It simply stops and illuminates whatever objects come between it and earth.


How do I balk at the light life gives me?  Do I allow the light to fall where it may or do I find myself wanting a different experience?  Can I too be the moon’s blank canvas?  And what would that look like?  I open my journal to a blank page and respond.