The Cold and The Moon

It’s been a while since I just stood outside and thrived in the weather, putting my body out there as nature intended. No, I don’t mean naked. But i wasn’t covered head to toe either. Around here once it drops below 55 degrees everybody wraps up in thick wool jackets anticipating the worst “Polar Vortex” nonsense to pop up. It’s 43 degrees at the moment, and it’s still not as cold as I was hoping. Not that I was anticipating below 30 or anything, just saying.

Years ago, in a fit of clarity of mind, I went out into the rain with naught on but a t-shirt and gym shorts. When I say rain, it wasn’t a light shower or anything. I’m talking Biblical rain. A seemingly unending torrent of Walnut sized water droplets bombarding the Earth as if the Earth had called it’s Wife something nasty. Not a soul was on the street, or even awake for  that matter, as it was nearly 1:30AM. I had been working nearly seven days a week, 10 hours a day in a hot kitchen hustling as one does. Whenever I actually HAD time off I spent it either worrying or sleeping or just generally inside doing fuck-all. The rain was necessary. My run through the rain that night was a stress cleansing, spiritually aligning experience. Proof that you don’t need a Priest and a kiddie pool full of  special tap water to be Baptized. All you need is the right conditions and the gift that God gives you in that moment.

Tonight was slightly different though, the weather was a normal cold for an October night, and I wasn’t searching for anything besides another experience I had shunned for a while: looking at the night sky. Long ago, almost too far to recall, I would spend quite a bit of time observing the stars and the Planets and most of all, the Moon. The Moon and I had many conversations but I suppose as the years go by, all friendships fade, and some even disappear. All I know is the weight of my responsibilities hung from my chin and kept my eyes level with the Earth again.

I brought with me a small telescope, a product review soon to happen, and i camped out on the trunk of my wife’s Honda. It took a while to get the aim right, to just the right level. About 20 minutes into it and my shaky hands finally settled on the right spot, zoomed in, and there it was. The details were stunning, as if looking at it for the first time. In a strange moment of clarity, as if it would help me peer through the view-finder easier, i took my jacket off down to my t-shirt. Somehow, despite the cold, it made me more comfortable and really did make things look better. Words escape me to be honest, how would you describe the moon to someone who’s never seen it? More importantly, how do you explain how it effects you? It’s like explaining to a child what love is. It touches everyone differently, and brings out different emotions and ideas. It inspires constantly, positively and negatively. If I had to describe the Moon to someone who was blind….I would tell them that for me it’s like being in meditation in an instant. One look and a deep breath and your soul is washed of all it’s stress.

I stood there for a while and considered all the things that need considering. Thinking about all the things going on right now, and all the decisions that need deciding. Did I come to any conclusions? No. Any astounding revelations? Not one. But I did find something, a little thing not lost but misplaced. My center. The part of me that takes in all that is around me and is content with every bit of it. If ever we need anything in life, it’s contentedness.  Suppose we all need a little something to act as a “reset” button every so often.

I suppose for me, it’s the cold and the moon.


-B.K. Mullen


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