Sitting on the beach in the dead of night was always fun, no matter the time of year or the circumstances surrounding it, but for some reason waiting to watch the moon rise up over the ocean made everything much more mysterious. Minutes away lay the street and the condo where we were staying, but out here on the beach there was nothing but us, the sand, and the sea.
The anticipation was killing me as I sat on the sand with my friend, huddled under blankets and sitting close enough to touch, as we waited out the cold wind and scanned the horizon diligently. We had trekked out here from the condo just to see the moon, and we weren’t leaving until we watched it rise all the way up out of the water.
The waves lapping at the shore created a rhythmic, hypnotic backdrop to our vigil, lulling us into a silent agreement not to speak unless it was to call to the other over the wind and tell them the elusive moon had been spotted. The wind whispered and rushed past us, making the reeds in the dunes laugh and call to us. The sand skittered over the beach and collected against our blanket, but we ignored it in favor of the pitch black horizon that promised to yield our silver prize.
Finally, I felt her shoulder nudge mine, and a whisper of my name sounded over the wind. I turned to look and spotted a glob of orange light oozing up from the horizon, near the end of the pier. It rippled up out of the water as though it were some great egg, shedding seawater back into the ocean as it rose from the waves. It grew larger and larger, a ghastly, glowing orange, its pure silver light polluted by the atmosphere it was rising from.
It stayed connected to the ocean for a long time, the reflection on the waves like a mirror image of it as it painstakingly left its watery home and ascended to its place in the star-studded sky. After several long moments, it hung like a perfect coin, no longer orange or cream, but glowing silver, shedding white light on to the beach and the two of us huddled under the blanket. We couldn’t speak, still struck with its beauty, and silently we looked at each other and smiled.
It was something we would never forget; that ghostly moon climbing from the waves and up into the October sky.