I got up early this morning. I had my “good” camera charged over night and I had researched that moonset at my position here at Isla Mujeres, Mexico would be at 07:07 UTC-5 or CDT. Not too bad. But sunrise would already be at 06:33, so I knew I had to get up a good bit before that if I wanted to land a good shot.
It is full moon, so for us earthlings the moon is opposite the sun but, as we just learned, not exactly. The sun rises a hair earlier than the moon sets. But more importantly, today the moon is close to its perigee and is supposed to appear almost 9 % larger than usual. You better duck your head so close it will whoosh over it. The world calls this supermoon. I call it showtime.
I am sitting on the stern deck of my steel ketch Seefalke. It is elevated and my favorite spot for astronomical observations. First row in my VIP box for the thrilling drama I am about to witness:
Last night I watched the sun cheerfully playing in the skies, as if there was no tomorrow. Carefree and wild, like a paint spilling child, she plunged the world into always changing colors, for no specific reason, just because she could.
While the sun was playing lightheadedly, coming dangerously close to the edge of the horizon the moon was sneaking in to the playground. Silently, inwardly, covertly, still pale and in full camouflage while the world was distracted by the loud light-show in the West. Generously he would grant the sun her final show, like a delinquent is granted a last cigarette. This night would be his night. He knew it. He was supermoon. The world’s eyes would be on him. It would just take a little bit of patience until the sun would burn in her own vanity.
And while the glowing fireball is tumbling, eventually falling off the edge into eternity, the moon raises higher and higher, humbly, yet aware of his silent might. He needs no colors to emphasize his power. Understatement is his credo. Black and white is just enough. He controls our dreams. Oceans follow his course in obedient loyalty. Million stars step back in awe-stricken reverence when he arrives at the scene. The skies are all his.
Unparalleled. Undefeated. Undisputed. The supermoon reaches his zenith. The firmament is his palace. The world is his oyster.
But now, early in the morning, it is him for whom the bell tolls. And he knows it.
With my telephoto right on his face I feel like a paparazzi, like a voyeur, denying him the last bit of privacy in the blackest hour of this proud sovereign.
As he descends, calmly stepping down towards the cliff that soon he is condemned to jump off from, he grows one last time. He raises his head and proudly watches towards the East, calmly expecting his joyful hangman. He is ready.
No fear. No worries. No resentment.
Gracefully he uses his power one last time to move the clouds and block the view at the moment of death.
At 07:07 it is done.
I take down my camera. Slowly. Moved by the moment. The sunrise is beautiful. But I don’t feel like taking photos anymore. “Hey, that was just a beautiful moonset,” I try to cheer myself up a little. I smile to myself “Yes, maybe it was. But maybe it was the rise and fall of supermoon. Maybe it was a metaphor to our very existence.”
Then I take my clothes off and jump into the sea. I feel the warm water surrounding my body and my soul. I feel alive.
Life is beautiful.
All photos were taken at Isla Mujeres between the evening of April 08 and the morning of April 09, 2020.