Last night, just before bed, Katie called me outside to look at the moon. I didn’t want to do it; I was tired, but she insisted, so I went. She took me into the backyard and pointed at the corner of the yard, behind the live oak near my bedroom.
“Up there!” she said. “See it?”
Well, I didn’t, but she made me keep looking. She scooted me to the right and had me stand on my toes. I craned my neck to see. Then I finally saw it, a full moon hung low in the sky, just over the roof, stuck in the live oak branches, like an errant volleyball. The moon was more white than yellow, not very big, and veiled in smoky haze. With the live oak branches scratching the moon, cloaked in night mist, it looked like a scene right out of a scary vampire movie . It was spooky. But what intrigued me more was the look that moon looked down and gave me.
Yes, there was a face in the moon – the face of a woman. For just an instant, that moon’s face smiled down on me in a Cheshire Cat kind of way. Then a thin cloud floated across the moon and the face was gone forever.
I am not alone. The poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) also saw a woman in the moon.
The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.
The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.
But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.
from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson