Tropical sunsets, palm trees, warm breeze, mai tai in hand, ukulele playing in the background. We all dream about them, some of us have experienced them. Watching the sun setting below the ocean filled horizon is the vision many of us have of pure relaxation, pure connection with a greatness that humbles us and fills us with gratitude. There are many pictures of sunsets, but what about moonsets?
While planning my trip to Maui I choose to be there during the full moon. I didn’t plan on watching a moonset, like I had planned to catch the sunset every day, mai tai in hand. I had only envisioned watching the greatness of the full moon’s cool glow as she rose over the eastern sky after a glorious sunset.
Jet-lag is usually viewed as negative, something that leaves your biorhythms askew. Hawaii is three hours behind my usual Pacific time zone, which meant going to sleep early and waking up at 4:30 in the morning. The first morning in Maui, much to the chagrin of my partner, I was up and making coffee before 5:30 a.m. My goal that first morning was to be the first person in the water at a popular snorkel area in Kihei, an hour drive from our condo. The moon and the bright stars were just a backdrop to a perfect morning, nothing more.
The second morning, I slept in. It was 4:45 a.m. Wide awake, I decided to begin brewing a pot of coffee and sit out on the Lanai. The sky was clear and the moon was one day away from total fullness, but she looked pregnant, and bright that morning. There was a gentleness in the air, no breeze, no birds singing, no sign of the other tourists staying at the condo complex. The trade winds wouldn’t kick up until mid morning, several hours away, the only sound was the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore. I enjoyed the stillness, I embraced it, I wanted to bottle it up and take it with me back to Seattle, to open during one of those chaotic city moments.
Slowly the moon descended towards the horizon as I enjoyed my morning cup of Maui coffee. The western sky was black, as the eastern sky showed only slight hints of the sunrising. I looked at the time, 5:45 a.m., the sun would be up in 15-20 minutes. The moon was going to set about the same time as the sun would begin to peek over the eastern horizon. I became excited with the notion of watching the full moon set. The sky became lighter as the moon came within centimeters of the horizon. Slowly the moon began to turn a pinkish orange, the birds began to sing as she disappeared below the horizon. Moonset.