We went to the beach to watch the moonrise, arriving as the sun was setting in the west. The parking area that faces east was as full as it would be on a summer day; some people sitting in their warm cars, leaning forward and scanning the horizon. Photographers had staked claim to each bench along the sidewalk that runs the length of the beach, their cameras sporting long lenses mounted on tripods. People were sitting on the sand and on the seawall, leaning against trees, standing by the water's edge or on the rocky shoreline.
All of us looked east.
We walked out on the wooden pier. After the sun had fully set the wind dropped for just a moment, then picked up again. We shivered and wondered to one another where the moon might rise. "Is the sky brighter over there, behind that island?"
Then there it was. A sliver of orange shivered at the top of a cloud bank. The sliver became a crescent, became an arc, became the full full moon. It seemed to pause, as if it knew we had been waiting, as if it knew we were watching.
There was a clatter of shutters opening and closing, opening and closing; a few flashes. And: "Oh!" And: "Woooooooooowwwww!" And: "Beautiful."
Mostly, though, we were silent as we remembered, again, that this wonder was part of us and we were part of it.