Everyone loves the sun.
Plants, light, tanlines, we get it, we get it. But, you know what? Today’s the day to give props to that other big guy floating up in the sky. Yes, we say the Moon’s worth respecting for a few big reasons:
1. Lights up the night.
Sure, the moon isn’t as bright as the sun but he’s still a friendly flashlight on dark nights. If you’ve ever been lost on a boyscout trip in the forest, driven down a pitch black country road, or taken a midnight pee at the campsite, you know what we’re talking about. Smile as those flickery white shadows glimmer off twigs and branches to help you avoid tumbling down the rocky cliffside.
2. Turn the tides.
The moon’s constant gravitational yanking gives us choppy ocean tides all day long. Tides allow some species to lay eggs, others to ride the waves, and, most importantly, add important time pressures to sand castle competitions. Without them our oceans — and indeed, our lives — would be flat and dreary.
3. Get out of late free card.
There’s something beautiful about seeing the moon hanging around a clear blue morning sky. It’s kind of like that coffee shop employee who chills behind the counter after her shift, pouring a few more drinks in her winter jacket before heading home. “Yeah, yeah, I know the sun’s here,” she seems to say. “Just want to make sure everything’s cool before I take off.” Also, as everyone knows, it’s impossible to be late for work when the moon’s still out because it’s not officially daytime yet. Be sure to check your Rules of Life pocketbook if you need clarification on this important matter.
4. Toss the Timex.
The moon’s waxing and waning keep our dates in check, thank you very much. According to our egghead pals at Wikipedia the moon even formed the basis of the world’s first calendars with 13,000 year old eagle-bone relics dug up in Le Placard, France. That’s why our current months are estimates of the lunar cycle and why moonand month are from the same root. Word to your dictionary.
5. Let’s get nuts.
Both lunacy and loony are derived from Luna, the Latin name for the Moon. Ancient googly-eyed nerds Aristotle and Pliny the Elder thought full moons made people nuts because our brains are mostly water and therefore we get the same Earth-Moon tidal forces in our heads. Well, the jury’s still out on that one, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of spice in life, so when that full moon comes around feel free to bulge your eyeballs, act like a caveman, or wear your wacky purple tie to the office meeting.
Sometimes our home planet can seem like a lonely base, spinning in place, floating through space. But when you stare out your bedroom window, up into the distant forever reaches of infinite darkness, remember we’ve got a friend riding with us everywhere we go. Yes, the Moon’s our lunchtime pal in the giant universal cafeteria and our seatmate at the back of the big bang bus. So when it seems like the big blackness is lonely, when it seems like we’re far from home, well just remember that the Moon’s always beside us… as we ride into the deep unknown.
A version of this post originally appeared on Neil Pasricha’s website, 1000 Awesome Things.