The darkness of the night demanded the light of the moon. Clouds wisped past, dotting the sky and hazing the moon's glow, masking the stars and teasing the horizon. It was beauty in black and green-kissed yellow, caressed by the faintest of silver-grey. A skyscape that seemed flat, but revealed texture, depth and the joy of deception as eyes grew wide to take in the full display on show.
I stood staring at the moon: sucking in the sight through greedy pupils; tracing the face through a pock marked surface - each dent picked out in a glowing blue; feeling the glimmer of the iced sunlight; watching as the clouds played peek-a-boo with the world while the moon presided over.
Standing there the world around seemed to stop. The street was empty - silence echoing from the rooftops, fences and pavements. A moment out of time, a sight that spoke to cultural history, to primal instinct and to deep desire: looking into the darkness to find a lantern. There the moon hung, around it a blurring corona; but the more I looked the more textures appeared in the night sky - clouds could be discerned in the distance, lands entirely in gloom that glided across the world in solitude.
To ask in what direction did it point me is to miss the point. There was no mystic pathway or hidden route. Searching for the way is indeed to howl at the moon - a howl of despair and anguish as your hopes are dashed by the contempt of fate. But then howling at the moon isn't just about seeking an answer, or the frustration of giving up, it is also a way to dig deeper and find a way to tap into raw emotion; to let out the toxins and knots of the day and clear space to breathe. With the intake of oxygen comes a moment of clarity - of optimism, and in this way the moon replies.
The moon is a lantern, and it reminds us of the passing of time and tide; it reminds us that life waxes and wains; it reminds us that the journey is onwards and that in the gloom we can find beauty and solace too. Sometimes, in the clear cold of the night, this is the solace we need.