I noticed tonight that Kabul twinkles at night. I don’t know what it is, but the lights of Kabul twinkle much like stars embedded in a fabric that climbs up the mountains like a Christmas tree blanket over a tree stand. They are not all the same dull yellowish color or blue-tinted white of American city lights. There seem to be many colors, from bright white to bright red, muted greens and yellowish glares. It almost seems festive, and I ponder the many lives being lived next to the twinkling points; the children growing up in this dusty city heaving itself slowly out of the quagmire of war’s rubble, barely daring to hope for a future with a bit of liberty.
It’s too much to consider.
I notice an almost ominous glow behind one of the mountains. Back home such a glow would signal some sort of large event. Here, as I forgot, it heralds the coming of the moon. What I see is the bright light of earth’s largest satellite glowing like an approaching car’s headlights. The far side of the mountain is already bathed in its light, but here on the other side, I stand in shadow, slowly realizing that it is the moon and not some great social event or impending disaster.
A bright, unblinking light appears atop the mountain. It is the tip of the crescent which momentarily becomes apparent; a triangle, its sharpened tip growing taller at a surprising rate. Within seconds, it begins to resemble a shark’s tooth breaking free of the mountainous jaw, jutting skyward. This effect grows and is not lost until the moon is nearly free of the grasp of the mountain. Finally, the nearly half-moon rests for a few seconds atop the mountain, seemingly paused there as if resting from the effort.
The illusion is broken; the moon separates itself from the mountain and resumes its climb. The moonshadow begins to retreat towards the moon, slowly racing across the valley towards the base of the opposing mountain as the moon literally shines like a muted sun on the glittering city of Kabul. The moon is risen.
I think it took less than two minutes. Some things just leave me shaking my head slowly and muttering about beauty to myself, alone in the dark.