Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Bright Moon

The moon is having a comeback these past few days - or should that be nights.  I've always loved looking at the new moon when it rises silently over the rim of the horizon and climbs up the night sky to join the stars.  It makes me feel very small and a bit scared, really. This huge disk, sitting up there in the dark vault of sky, doesn't make a sound.  It jumps out at you unexpectedly if you don't know that there's a full moon.

 I remember an aunt of mine, God rest her, used to take off her glasses while walking around London for fear the new moon would surprise her because she believed if you saw it first through glass it was bad luck. As for me, I used to have other issues with a full moon.  I remember crawling into work one morning after a more or less sleepless night.  As I got into the lift with a colleague I couldn't suppress a big yawn.  'New moon been keeping you awake, too?' my colleague asked sympathetically.  Up until then I had no idea that many people cannot sleep in the nights before the moon is full.  That particular time I didn't even know there was a full moon!  Then I began to monitor the nights when I couldn't sleep and yes, they all occurred at full moon. Nowadays the moon does not seem to affect my sleeping pattern and despite the super moon we are currently experiencing, I slept a full six hours last night which is very good going for me.  No, I don't have an explanation for this. 

Of course the experts pour scorn on the idea and tell us that the full moon has nothing to do with our sleeping badly or not.  When I lived in Germany someone supposedly in the know about these things said that around one million people couldn't sleep when there was a full moon but that the moon had nothing to do with their insomnia.  One million people eh?  If that were the measles it would be considered an epidemic! 

The moon also has an effect on the tides.  Living by the sea I am aware of this.  Water depth in the harbour is usually around 4.0 m at high tide when there is a full moon and between 3.6 to 3.8m at other times. So I think that this slightly eerie orb which we see at night does have an effect on us, or at least on some of us.  I suppose it is a question of how attuned we are to nature in general. 

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