One of the most beautiful moments in this year’s Christmas Revels is a song to the moon, “The Traveller’s Prayer.” It’s by John Renbourn, an English songwriter who died last March at the age of 70.
The moon is a wonder. It travels around us slowly, making one circuit a month, turning at the same time, so the same side always faces our way. Here in the city, I can comfortably ignore it most of the time, and I usually do.
But this fall, as the days were getting shorter, I happened to spot it one evening as I was walking home. “Praise to the Moon, bright queen of the skies,” I heard, in my head. I sang as I walked, watching it rise over the trees of my neighborhood. For that moment, this song I was learning reminded me to look up, admire that cool, reflected light, and think of people through the ages who have watched that same moon on its travels around the earth.