It is a splendid thing when the Moon near its perigee (a “supermoon”) comes Full at the beginning of Advent and the new liturgical year. The heavens and the earth seem briefly in alignment. This Frost, or Cold Moon (as our Algonquian peoples called the one before the Winter Solstice) is thirty thousand miles nearer than it was in June. Bright it is and large. I recall the effect from childhood, walking through thin snow along the Bruce Trail, to a hilltop from which I could see the Moon rise, and a landscape rolling north, being picked out in lines of silver.

Born as I was under a Full Moon, and being something of a lunatick (accentuated just now by a nasty fever), I like to count my age in Moons. This leaves me, I think, only one month shy of my eight hundredth birthday. Alternatively, I count metonic cycles, so that I am still three, but will turn four under the Full Moon of April, 2029. (God willing.)

As a child I was a fount of unwanted astronomical information.

Just now it is middle night, and somewhere in monastic silence a sacrist chimes a small bell. The monks are called to their night watch. The Moon is alone in the middle of the sky. Towards dawn as it sets, Sun and Moon will be on opposite horizons (having exchanged positions in the night), and we on this illumined orb between.

It turns through the stars. The lights arc around us. The years come and go.

Soon we may forget the passage of the seasons, the shock of being young or old. For now we wait, with Isaiah, “Beholding from afar, Lo!”