Opinion: Musings On The Coast


Blue Moon     

For maybe six months, I had been dating the woman who was to become the love of my life. It was New Year’s Eve, but I was alone in Laguna at my place, and she was alone in L.A. at her place. I wanted to ask her down but didn’t dare to ask; it was already 10 p.m., and would she answer the phone? Come down on the spur of the moment? Reject me?

I worked up my nerve and called; an hour later she was here. She had a bottle of nice red wine and a plan. “We’re going to the beach to watch the blue moon at midnight.”

“What? It’s too damn cold.”

“Come on. Bundle up. We’re going.”

So down we went to my secret cove, laid out a blanket, poured a cup, looked up. Then it hit me.

The beauty of the full blue moon that night can only be described as a magical convergence of nature’s splendor and human connection. When the second full moon occurs within a calendar month, this rare celestial event casts a mesmerizing glow over my secluded beach, illuminating the sand and surf with an ethereal light that seems to transcend time itself. As we laid back on the blanket, the gentle sounds of the ocean lulled me into a state of tranquility, a trance.

The setting was serene and intimate, with the rhythmic crashing of waves and other couples and groups scattered down the beach, simply looking up, taking it in. As if by magic, a perfect ring formed around the moon some ten minutes before midnight. I knew it symbolized a variety of religious and spiritual folklore, but I didn’t know what.  

She sat up, poured another cup, took a sip, her arms around her knees, her eyes focused. I thought the rings had to symbolize love or good luck, or if I was really lucky, a connection to the Other World inside every single atom in the Universe, every atom, all of us all the time.  

The beach and waves were bathed in shades of silver and blue, while above the clouds drift lazily across the sky, creating ephemeral shapes and patterns that danced and shifted with the moon’s radiant glow. These transient images seem to tell a story of their own, a silent narrative that unfolded in a story of mystery meant just for us and more: a reminder of the impermanence and timelessness of the natural world.

We didn’t talk much, but our hands slipped together. We watched the clouds slowly pass over the moon’s full brightness and the huge lunar ring. The drifting clouds constantly changed, morphed into horses, faces, and strange creatures only she could decipher. 

“See that?” she pointed, and said it seemed like Irish fairytales…something her Irish aunts and uncles conjured and reconjured during her young summer stays in that isolated farmhouse they had, no electricity, candles, lightning storms, and ancient ghosts lingering in the mists. 

I don’t believe that nonsense, I told myself. I cannot. 

It is all nonsense.

I shivered instead, but not from the cold.  

The night seemed to stretch on endlessly as if time itself had slowed down to allow us to savor every precious moment, and I was lost as she spun her Irish myths.  

I knew only one thing: I wanted it to go on forever.

Michael co-founded Orange County School of the Arts, The Discovery Cube, Sage Hill School, Art Spaces Irvine and several other area nonprofit organizations. He is a business partner with Sanderson-J. Ray Development and has lived in Laguna Beach since the early 1980s.

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