The moon hangs in the early afternoon sky in the black and white photo I have taken while on a hike. I wonder what matters most in the world to me. With academics I tended to want to know statistics like: What is the distance to the moon? What is it thought to be composed of? How long has it been since the last space-suited human being set foot there? But I have aged, and so has what is important to me.
A week later I continue this conversation with myself, as I relax in a hammock strung between two trees in the forest. Now I am not thinking of that moon that still hangs somewhere above; I am now thinking about the wind that is gently swinging the hammock. I am reminded of the swing I sat in as a very young child. "Odd that I still remember that," I tell myself as I listen to Willie Nelson singing "Blue Skies" through my smartphone. I snap another photo, this time in color. My life seems much fuller when things aren't merely black and white.
I wonder if that old moon could speak what it would have to say. Perhaps we are its only voice, surviving independently of the sea, yet still influenced by its tides: swaying to and fro like the child's swing or a hammock in the wind, somewhere between the dark and the light.
Maybe what matters is not so much how long we are here beneath this moon, but how we choose to spend our time, whether lost in books of our making or those of others. Either way, sharing matters.