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A night so dark with stars so bright, peppering the heavens like silver grains of sand. And a moon resplendent in its orange hue peering down on a slumbering earth.

The longest ecliptic transition period we are given to believe portraying the moon in all its glory, all its majesty, all its grace and all its longevity. A planet outshining the sun for this brief moment in time. Never to be repeated in all it’s magnificence and duration for decades to come.

I stand with my wife and dogs on the stoep in the dark craning my head and straining my eyes to drink in the beauty of a spectacle not to be repeated in my lifetime.

And as I look I am struck by the very essence of life, of existence, of being.

The twinkling stars, many of which have long ago died leaving a legacy of light that will glitter for aeons to come, and the indelible memories of what has been yet will be no more.

My mortality struck me like never before on that balmy cloudless night when the moon unveiled its celestial beauty that shadowed the sun.

How many years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds have passed since I first drew breathe and the world welcomed me to my journey through time.

How many solar eclipses, how many sunrises, sunsets, dawns and dusks have favoured my existence. Sometimes I feel it has been too many and often I feel it has yet had not been enough.

As I gazed at the moon shadowed by its orange veil and the morse code stars blinking their message my mind briefly scanned my earthly footprint and just like in ‘a brief history of time’ I condensed my life to a few minutes of thought.

Has my life developed how I had hoped? No. Have I had good and bad? Myriads of both.

Has the universe taken the time to teach me its ways? I believe so. Have I learned it’s lessons? Not always and often not willingly.

Have I suffered? Yes but not as much as many. Has my pain been great? To the larger world maybe not but it has been my pain, my cross.

Has success been a player? Yes, but hard-fought and few and far between.

Do I feel shortchanged with my life? I did, but don’t.

Am I proud of my achievements? Not really, but I measure them differently now.

My worldly battles have not been played out on the Steppes of Asia, the Desserts of Africa, the mountains of Siberia or the forests of South America. Rather in my head, my psyche, my very soul.

I have loved my mother and father long departed to their place of rest. I keenly heed the words of my father, no sage, no sage at all but a man who battled yet left me pearls of wisdom unconventional yet often stunningly accurate. I miss him, my mother and the era that we faced life as a family through all its trials and tribulations. In a perverse way, I look forward to joining them in their happy hunting grounds where I may rest a job done, if not well.

Yes, moon you have seen a lot. And I have travelled a road less travelled. My journey not yet finished. My lessons not yet learnt.

I am a child of the universe and have a right to be here. As much a fabric of the cosmos as the moon, sun and stars.

And as we all know they all have a role to play in creation.

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