The moon is made of green cheese, or is it made of cream cheese? A man lives in it, some people say he has a dog. Sometimes, the moon is like a big orange smiley face looking down on the earth, sometimes it is like a silver ribbon high and away in the sky – arrogant and proud.
Throughout the centuries, yards of poetry have been written about the moon and it has inspired other works of literature, art and music. It is no wonder, for it is beautiful and magical in all its phases – and for centuries it was one of the great mysteries of the world, for some even more fascinating than the sun.
On this day in 1969, fifty-two years ago, all this changed when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. It is not made of cheese, of any colour or variety, and they found no one, human or otherwise, living there. It is made of rather dull looking rock, examples of which can be seen in the Science Museum, and other places. Its lights, in all their changing moods, are only reflected glory from the sun. But the moon still has great power, it controls the tides, it affects the migration and navigation of birds – and some birds time their reproduction to coincide with different lunar cycles. A full moon is still said to affect people’s behaviour – hence the word lunatic!
There is still a sense of wonder and awe associated with the moon – not least the amazing science, technology and engineering that enabled that first visit 52 years ago. For me, the gifts of God’s creation get bigger and bigger as our horizons expand. I find it almost overwhelming that God who has created the infinity of space and time and everything in it still knows all about me and loves me, just as I am! (although sometimes I think he might like a bit of improvement).