People used to go to the Moon when I was a baby, but they stopped going there when I was still very young, too young to remember the Apollo missions from anything other than textbooks and documentary films. It’s time to return to Earth’s only natural satellite. To look back toward Earth and see where we came from, where we ALL came from, and realize how fragile and precious our home planet truly is.
If I could travel anywhere, I would travel to the Moon. It would be a fine destination to go exploring. Only a dozen people have had the opportunity to tread upon this rocky, airless world. I am in awe of those who have traveled there before me. I am grateful for their bravery, for their vision, and for their longing to see the world from a new perspective.
Many travelers dream of exploring where no one else has gone before. My dreams echo those of past explorers: to set foot on pristine landscapes, foreign and unknown, making footprints where before there was only dust.
Tidally locked with Earth, the Moon always shows us the same side of her sphere. Always half lit by the sun, the phases of the Moon form a calendar in the sky, shepherding us through each month with reliable certainty: new, crescent, quarter, gibbous, full, gibbous, quarter, crescent, and back to new again. Month after month, year after year, eon after eon.
The Moon’s craters reveal her violent past, as rocks, like missiles, bombarded her surface and left behind evidence of their hostility. Her sun-lit side is hotter than Earth’s sun-baked deserts, yet her dark side is colder than Antarctica. A world of contrasts, the rock that composes the orb that appears to be bright white when seen from Earth is really as dark as pitch.
Without the Moon, there would be no tides. No waves crashing upon the shores. No surfing. No tide pools, filled with creatures that thrive on the cycle of wet and dry, wet and dry.
Gazing skyward, my ultimate travel destination is so close, yet so far. All around the world, it can be seen, lighting travelers’ ways at night. Legends have been told about it, poets write of its beauty. It has lit the way to freedom for many a wandering soul throughout the ages.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without the Moon. What would wolves howl at, and how would trick-or-treaters find their way from house to house without it? The Moon conjures up images of spooky nights. But when I look at the Moon, I don’t see anything to be afraid of. I see only its beauty.
My sense of wonder compels me to go beyond the familiar, to stretch my horizons, to reach for distant worlds. Returning home from such a journey brings a different kind of joy, reuniting me with my family, my friends, and my blue-green home, the Earth.
About the Author: Rachel Zimmerman Brachman: By day, I work as a solar system education specialist. In my free time, I write manuscripts for children’s books. I’m an inventor, a scientist, an educator, a writer, a mom, a knitter, and a world traveler. My Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.brachman