The final moon of another passing year, the moon of the long night, will come full this week as she emerges from behind curtains of clouds to take command of her wintry post. Most of her charges have been tucked in for their winter sleep, for her presence means bedtime for our green and flowering world, which is now snug beneath an autumn blanket of fallen leaves and a white coverlet of frost, ice and snow.
Both the wind and weather are moving more swiftly these days as our hours of allotted sunlight continue to grow shorter, shadows longer and the cold deeper, as the magic transformation of time takes place, bringing man, beast and plant closer to the evening of the year.
With the winter solstice now at hand, the best the sun can do these still shortening days is to allot but 9 hours and 55 minutes of daylight, compared with the summer equinox, when the sun was able to pack in a full 14 hours and 24 minutes.
It is with these final days of December that the moon of the long night takes command, casting its chill blue-white light across the frosted landscape, sucking out the accumulation of a summer suns best efforts. There is little that can be called comforting about these December days and nights, lest it be the beauty found in star-sprinkled heavens, where multitudes of distant worlds and galaxies pass in deep silence across the night skies. Heavenly gems offering their messages from afar, or closer at hand, the brilliance of a winter sun on glittering frost that comes with awakening day. The moon of the long night reminds us that change is constant.