Today was Byron's friend Eli's second birthday party. (that's ELi hugging Byron above) They spent a few hours this afternoon at their favorite jumping place at the mall.
After the party we had a long walk back to the car in the bitter cold. The wind chill this afternoon was -5. When the boys got into the backseat they were both shivering. All of a sudden Eli saw the rising moon. Eli loves the moon even more than Byron. Eli shouted "Moon!" and then shivered, "cold". Byron saw the moon - "Moon!" he shouted and then like Eli said "cold". Back and forth they said "MOON!" and then in small voices "cold" "MOON!" "cold" "MOON!" "cold". All the way home the moon peeked out from behind trees and buildings and they would find it with great delight and shout "MOON!" (by this time the car was warm so "cold" had dropped out. )
I asked Eli's mom if he had always loved the moon and she said he absolutely LOVES the moon. In the summer he would watch it from his crib as he was falling asleep. Byron loves the moon too, loves the book "Goodnight Moon" and will always point the moon out to us, long before we have noticed it ourselves.
Why do children love the moon? Maybe because they love magic, they love things that glow and the moon is both. It's light is soft and inviting, gentler than the sun, and more tender than the stars. It seems to move, disappear and reappear, it seems to wink and even smile. Or perhaps it's more mystical than that. The moon has power, power even to pull on the tides. The crescent moon itself is worn by Lord Shiva, and He is sometimes called Chandreshwara, the Lord of the Moon. And in meditation we can see the effulgent inner moon light, subtle and soft or blazing bright. Perhaps children, who are so in touch with the mystical, can sense this moon power.
Byron sleeps each night to the mantra "Om Namah Shivaya", a hymn to the inner Lord Shiva, as it plays quietly under that soft, gentle, wonderful moon.