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I got home late tonight, running some errands and getting some groceries after work, and it’s almost midnight.

I got out of my car and I looked up.

The dark cold skies held the bright small clear full moon near directly overhead. Wispy white clouds were being wind-whipped in joyful design all around the moon, moving leftward rapidly above my head.

My apartment is on a hill, and the clouds always seem much closer here, but this was different.

The night was still. The atmosphere was hushed. Silent icicles hung in large heavy groups from edges of the roofs of the Tyrolean apartments.

The bright moon, the bright stars, Mars, and I think one or two other planets, were shining brightly.

It was like, in all its frozen glory, this galaxy was alive.

God’s majesty was here.

I felt rapture and tears came to my eyes, partly from the cold and partly from the emotion.

Intense! I have felt the beauty of nature before, of course.

But this was different.

This was viscerally powerful.

A rush of winter air, very cold, but not bitter cold, hit me in the face, and whipped loudly through the huge pine tree in front of me and down through the neighborhood.

That was the trigger point for the rapturous experience.

Suddenly, I was fully awake to the wonder of this cold animated winter presence, electrically charged with the power and magic of God’s creation.

I have never experienced anything like this before.

A brief brush with the hugeness of nature and of the universe.

I didn’t have my camera with me, and I’m kinda glad I didn’t.

This was an -experience-, and no photo was going to capture it.

–Curtis Smale