Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Moonlight Memories

Last night the moon was darn near full, and up here in high altitude, low population mountain towns, that's quite a gorgeous thing to behold.  It made me want to go on a drive (it probably would've made me want to go on a hike, if not for the 15* temps).

One of my best memories is a moonlit drive.  A few years into our marriage, I think it was when I was pregnant with Dyaln, little toddler-Keilana dozing in the backseat, Doug and I were taking a trip back to the valley from our little apartment in San Luis Obispo, leaving late in the day.  We took the longish way (as is our habit, going just about anywhere), and drove over on 198.  If you've never taken highway 198 between 101 and Coalinga, drop what you're doing and plan a trip right now.  Its a small, two-lane highway that winds through a fairly narrow valley, with virtually nothing in it but the occasional small ranch and lots of green, wooded hills.  Its gorgeous.  On this particular drive, we debated whether or not we should take 198, since we'd be driving mostly after dark and miss the scenery, but we decided to do it anyway, since the road is much more relaxing to drive than highway 41.  I'm so glad we made that decision.  The moon was full and bright, and so most of the valley was visible, bathed in the flood of moonlight, with dramatic shadows everywhere.  It was impossibly magical--it was like we removed ourselves from the world for an hour, and enjoyed a little drive through Heaven's country side, soaking in the beauty while enjoying the interesting conversation with each other.

That drive itself reminded me of a moonlit memory.  My first semester of college, I had gone to the beach late one evening to play games with a bunch of friends, wearing a pair of athletic shorts, a tank top and a light hoodie.  We played a few games, and then started chatting, and I took off my hoodie and started wading a few inches into the ocean water with one of my friends, still amazed that the air and water were always comfortably warm, even at night.  I ditched my hoodie on the sand, and walked in a little further, and one thing led to another, and before I knew it, all 15 or so of us were swimming in the bright light of the full moon.  It was probably near midnight, but it was both warm and refreshing, playing in the waves and splashing and wrestling with each other.  One of my very favorite Hawaii memories.

Its a little harder these days to get out in the moonlight--what with the sleeping babies, and all.  But hopefully as soon as summer gets here and its not quite so cold, I can help them remember how to enjoy the moonlight, too.  After all, many of my best childhood memories also revolve around summer nights in the moonlight.  Hopefully theirs will, too.


Kaytee Postma said...

This reminds me of my own childhood. Laying in the hammock in the sunshine on a warm Sunday afternoon just soaking up the rays.

I miss summer....

Nate and Annah Butterfield said...

If I ever get to go back to Hawaii, sitting on the beach with a huge bright moon is very high on my list of priorities. Those were some good times!!! There's not much that as relaxing and wonderful as clear skies, the beach and a full moon.

Wolfman said...

One of my best drives ever- US 89 in southern Utah. I was on my way to Arizona, pushing through the hinterlands, and more than a few of those high-altitude low population towns, in a beat up truck full of all my worldly possessions. Coming out across UT22, the moon was so bright I could almost turn the headlights off. I stopped for a quick nap and some fuel in Mt Carmel, then out of the canyon in the predawn light. I came upon the Vermillion Cliffs, upstream of the Grand Canyon just as the sun came pouring over the horizon. I stopped the truck and watched the morning rays walk down the cliffs.