“…the two great lights, the greater one to rule the day, and the lesser one to rule the night.”
Nearing the end of an invigorating walk (which may or may not have included a fair amount of jogging to keep warm) this evening, I turned a corner, putting my back to the setting sun, and headed toward the east and home. My eyes, normally trained on the path ahead to avoid catastrophe, lifted momentarily toward the sky and I was captured.
Above the horizon in front of me, almost the mirror image of the setting sun behind, the full moon was beginning it’s circuit through the night skies, albeit a few moments early. It is not an unusual occurrence; the moon frequently can be seen in the blue sky of the day. Normally though, when that happens, it is visible for a time and then the vivid light of the ruler of the daytime sky blots it from sight. Not tonight.
I will admit to a fanciful imagination at times, but on this cold, late April evening, the word “twilight” became more than just another term to mean “almost dark”. The two great lights, the ruler of the day and the ruler of the night hung at opposite points of the compass from my location, each vying for domination, and I waited to see which would emerge the victor. The logical brain – the scientific mind – jumps, of course, to the correct conclusion, but there is no faith – no soul – in that methodology. Won’t you banish that dry, monotonous process from your thoughts for now and look at the sky through different eyes with me? Just for a few moments?
As I glanced over my shoulder at the retreating sun, I was struck with the words from Genesis quoted above, and I couldn’t help myself; I smiled broadly, experiencing an epiphany of sorts. “Lights to rule…” Authority over their separate bailiwicks, not to be usurped by the other. The domain of the sun is the day and it rules without peer. Oh, the thunderstorms and the morning mists, along with the winter gales, do their best to block out this beneficent ruler, but he is jealous of his kingdom and will not stay hidden for long. He is a powerful force, and often, a hard taskmaster. His is the time of achievement; work begun and finished, tasks accomplished, crops planted and gathered. Many mighty men has he beaten down. He yields to none.
Did I say none? I should have said, none but one. I walked outside just moments past and she is still there, holding court in the sky above me, while he, gone to bed hours ago, is not. The world is alight with her radiance now, this beautiful queen of the night. Most of you sleep through her stunning display of fragile beauty. She has not the force to drive aside the clouds, nor the brilliance to accommodate the industry of the day, but there is power in her soft rays nonetheless. The night is more restful for her light, granting sleep to the weary, offering respite from the commerce of the daytime. Yet, she too will yield up her domain once again when the dawn approaches, with the sun not far behind.
I watched the two ruling lights in the sky together, the twilight of the sun and the moon, and was struck anew with the beauty and order with which the Creator imbued His creation. All power issues from the Ultimate Power; the rulers are ruled; the lights, mere reflections of His true light. Out of chaos, He brings order and elegance. It is true in the cosmos; true also in those He calls His own.
The great lights do their part, in their turn. Do I? Do you?
It’s time to head for home and bed. But first, I may take another minute to stand in the cold, bright world and admire the queen of the night.
And you just slept right though it all…
“The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When He gives a command, even the wind and waves obey Him!”
“Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon.”
(from “Silver” by Walter de la Mare~English poet/novelist~1873-1956)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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