Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Enchantment by Moonlight

When I was in my early high school years, I happened to be doing some mindless sketching in a less than eventful class (though which one I shall not say). I had an idea for a scene of sorts, and in my sketchings I eventually ended up producing it as something like this:

This is a version I put together on Microsoft Paint. The original was only in pencil and very roughly sketched on notebook paper. This is a more polished draft, but the scene I envisioned is the same. In words, this is the scene my imagination provided:

The woman comes out onto the terrace to get away from the stuffiness and small talk of a party or ball or other such social function at which she has no desire to be. She comes out into the cool evening air, the sounds of music and conversation dying away behind her, and sees the moon shining above. She steps out of the shadows and into the fountains of moonlight, arms outstretched as though to embrace every part of this beautiful night. The stars shine, a gentle breeze blows, the darkness soothes, and the world seems to become at peace with itself. The woman stands on the terrace, leaning on the stone railing, drinking it all in - the cool air, the smell of nearby grass and jasmine blossoms, the sound of a distant fountain, all bathed in the light of the moon and stars. She knows, of course, that she will soon have to return to the heat and bustle and noise of whatever is happening inside, but for the moment the night is calm - and so is she.

I might put this scene in a book one day. Perhaps in context the girl will be a princess, trying to escape her obligations - a plot that has certainly been done, but that I continue to love. Perhaps she has some sort of magic powers, and the moon helps to make her more powerful. Maybe she has been experiencing intense pain or grief, and this moment alone is a time for her to heal. I don't know - I just drew it.

I wanted to share this with you because something magical happened the other day that had everything to do with this little drawing. It was Monday night, and I had just come home from Singles Ward FHE up at Wiskey Springs, where we had been having a ward Marshmallow Toast / Smores Making Party. After the drive back to the Cove, I pulled into the driveway to find my parents walking about the lawn, searching for my siblings who were nowhere in sight. Apparently they were playing Sardines, a variation on hide-and-seek the rules of which I shall not detail here, except to say that everyone was hidden and my parents were seeking.

I helped, and eventually we stumbled upon my hidden siblings, all crouched in the shadow of the Tower on a little patch of grass, nearly invisible. My parents took their turn at hiding next, and we all began to seek.

I was checking around the side of the deck when something caught my attention. The front of the deck was bathed in white light, creating a distinct dividing line between the lighted and shadowed. Mistified, I abandoned my search and slowly moved out of the shadows and into the light.

It was as though my drawing had come to life, and I had been thrown into it. I was the woman, standing in a pool of moonlight on the terrace, embracing the beauty of the night. My moon was a waxing gibous, a week away from being full, and I was wearing white pants and a t-shirt rather than a trailing gown - but for all intents and purposes the moment I was experiencing was identical to the one I had drawn.

The stars shine, a gentle breeze blows, the darkness soothes, and the world seems to become at peace with itself. The woman stands on the deck, leaning on the metal railing, drinking it all in - the cool air, the smell of nearby lawn and iris blossoms, the sound of distant laughter, all bathed in the light of the moon and stars. She knows that it won't be long before she must leave, and soon dawn will break and this moment will have to end - but for the moment the night is calm, and so is she.

It was perfect, glorious, beautiful, mystifying. I was under the enchantment of the moonlight and my own runaway imagination - but it was a spell I was reluctant to break. If all things didn't have to come to an end, I could have stayed there for hours, revelling in the beauty and magic I had so suddenly become a part of. But as things do have to end, I have to make do with a little magic of my own.

The next time I am overhwelmed with the heat and bustle of everyday life, when I am stressed or greiving or in pain, when I am drained of power and energy and need a moment to heal, I will lay my head back and close my eyes in some quiet place and bring the scene to life again. And I will be there - standing in the cool night air, the moon and stars shining above, feeling myself and the world around me settling into something real and constant and whole once again.

Thank you for being here and reading the ramblings of a misplaced muse. It means more to me than I can say.

'Til next time, my friends...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel-

    I love the picture! I've never seen it before. What a wonderful picture you paint with words as well. And to think you were having your magical moonlight moment when we were all hiding behind a bush being bit by mosquitoes! :)

    Love, mom