The moon is held responsible for many things that affect us. Tides, crops, fertility cycles and other physical influences all feel the presence of our nearest cosmic neighbour.
As humans we have always had a romantic relationship with this celestial body as if it were a mirror in which our secret hopes and aspirations can find expression.
Lovers, composers, artists and poets have all found common ground in seeing this faithful satellite as a witness to our mortal condition, safe in the heavens but close enough to offer empathetic solace.
Having been unreachable for so long, will the mystery disappear once we start using this enchantress as a launching pad for further forays into the cosmos?
Perhaps the consolation of losing the romance will be the new vistas of space exploration this Lady of the Night will enable. With one seventh the gravity of Earth and potential fuel sources, the benefits of using the Moon for this purpose are self-evident.
Of course, no colonial outpost would be complete without a Golden Arches fly-thru, so it shouldn’t be too long before a trail of detritus marks our presence ‘here in Heaven, as upon Earth’.
Cynicism aside, one of our saving graces as a species is our sense of humour, which can have a mercurial effect in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Perhaps there is a tacit wink of consensus from our Man in the Moon, after all this time having presented the same face in spite of its own rotation.
This puzzling paradox is explained by the Moon being in synchronous orbit around the Earth, rotating once around its own axis in the same time it takes for one revolution around our planet, hence any given point on Earth will always see the same side of the Moon.
There is no dark side of the Moon, it only appears that way. Perhaps we can draw more than one allegory from this phenomenon with the most useful application being that of not taking things on face value but instead looking for hidden answers within the drama.
This is surely the realm of science and our never-ending quest of ‘why is it so?’ being our guiding light out of ignorance. Now that our Moon has yielded its secret, may our legacy be one of empathy and solace for those in need, beaming our Light on all and sundry without favour.
In the same way that the Moon merely passes on the light of the Sun, we too can pay it forward. Maybe that cosmic wink agrees, asking us to say ‘green cheese’ while we pose for our snapshot in Eternity.