A Beginner’s Guide to the Moon and the End of Everything

By Olivia Bono

First, you’ll need some perspective. “Once in a blue moon” isn’t a real length of time like a fortnight, a score, or a tick. What we think of as “blue” is just the second full moon in a month, or maybe the third full moon in a season— it can come every two-and-a-half years, or twice in consecutive months, or this Halloween. We used to rely on the thirteenth moon to mark the passage of time, but it’s unreliable. I just found a self-righteous British website, clearly written before the event, that calls it the Betrayal Moon. It’s hard to make plans when even the moon can betray you.

But the magic didn’t come in a blue moon. The moon was supposed to be pink— the name given to the full moon in April, provided it’s not blue— but I didn’t care. Before the world stopped turning, I might have, but this year I couldn’t bring myself to step outside, barefoot in the rain, and howl. The world is quieter now than it ever was. Once upon a different summer, the air was buzzing with life, but this year, only the plant life swayed in the breeze. It’s impossible to tell if the rest of the world has moved on, moved away to wait out the storm, or is simply asleep.

We’ll never see the daffodils bloom in the world we left behind. The moon is supposed to transform us— give us fangs and claws and fur. But the end of life as we knew it came in broad daylight, not in the shadow of an eclipse. We were counting on a year with another thirteen moons, some pink, some blue, but the earth spun backwards while we were looking up.

So bury a peach pit in the sleeping soil of your backyard. June’s moon will bring strawberries, and a red not of blood, but of fruit. To complete your transformation, hold a sprig of lilac under a waxing crescent and fill the silence that the old world left behind. The moon is no longer a distant oddity, to be ogled at from a hill with the rest of humanity. The observatories sit abandoned. We’re different beasts now, the moon our only constant beacon in the unnaturally clear sky. Sit down in the damp brush and wait for morning.

Misc Aiza Ahmed
Art by Aiza Ahmed

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