ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Under a Traveling Moon (Essay on Pioneer Independence, Beauty, and Stars)

Updated on September 3, 2017
ButterflyWings profile image

Butterfly grew up fourth generation on a farm on the eastern Colorado Plains, where sky and dreams are both huge.

A traveling moon, like mine.
A traveling moon, like mine.
What's beyond the gateway, really?
What's beyond the gateway, really?

Colorado Plains at Night

The milk from the Greek goddess' breast pours out over the sky - a bite from a mythic, vicious child turned to something beatiful. The droplets have hardened into stars, arching like a gateway to some long-lost ambition. I walk and I walk, yet the entrance stays as far off as ever. What would it be like to enter that gateway, and see through to the other side? Would I see the characters that starred in the myth? Would I see God?

But I am earthbound, and the late summertime gravel road stretches, grey, into shadows a few yards ahead. Clouds to the north obscure the horizon, and move slowly, like a herd of cattle, to cover the Milky Way and the moon. The wind freshens, kicking up scents of corn silk and dust, of horse sweat and sage. They mix with a prickling sensation in my sinuses, and I feel myself nudged from behind by the breeze. I turn to face it, knowing that now the moon is sense of travel is momentarily allayed, as the moon often says to me, "Onward, go," beckoning eagerly.

I wonder if this openness, this plain with the moon urging, "Go!" above it, was what pushed pioneers west past the river, then the mountains...was what pushed Columbus west past the ocean. Perhaps he kept on, in the face of starvation and misery and nothingness, because he knew the moon would not say "Go!" to someplace hopeless.

I myself am convinced I am not going to anyplace hopelss, though I don't as yet know what arrival looks like. I have promises of obscure events, made by friends and God, which wind deep into my psyche like taproots, where they drink from thoughts too deep to surface readily. These thoughts are the kind I must dig to get at, and sometimes I feel my diligence flagging. I have much in myself to deal with - things which would damage the taproot promises like an unwary shovel cut - if I plan to arrive anywhere near where I think I should.

Still, if a night as wide and clear as this did urge on Columbus, then God bless it, because now I can share it. This wideness as great as the biggest freedom is my succour, my sounding board, and helps my soul to believe in things big enough only my God could manage. Without it, I feel crushed and jostled, lost in a crowd of mere potential.

Courtesy of:
Courtesy of:

Song Lyrics: Night in Wyoming

If you never left this place, you might believe the world was dust, and wind, and sky. The days so hard, no one save your mother doesn't drink, and you don't ask why. ...

Then you button your shirt, standing in the red dirt, beside the barn, watching the stars. It's night in Wyoming, and this is where the world starts.

- unknown writer (if you know, please comment below)

A friend recently called my plain's wideness "brown and desolate". I couldn't argue with his perspective, but only because he didn't know how to look closely enough to see what was right before him, just beyond his thoughts. Maybe he was waiting for something beautiful to materialize out of the air, and had yet to understand that here, things must be searched for. The plains don't yeild easy thoughts any more readily than they yeild fruit trees. But they will give you a profusion of six-inch wild flowers for the taking, and thoughts with the potential of a whole universe. They are a low world of birds and mysteries, of secrets over which the unitiated are likely to trample. They are a place of wonderful risks and plans, possibly of hopes dashed to the ground, only to be taken up and mended. It is a place which makes strength, if you let it.

My farming family for four generations back has found strength to persevere in this land, under nights such as this one. We have walked under the stars to solace ourselves with the thought that others have gone on, and triumphed, and that with tomorrow will come a way to begin anew for us, too, no matter if the symptoms of dreams fail like withered crops. The wind may blow away our aspirations, just like the sand from the pasture, but the night always brings a message to try again.

My hopes grow like cutworms in corn. The clouds blow in fresh thoughts, and I feel a rain drop. As I extend my arms to feel them, I hear them spatter against the fields. They pockmark the ground, leaving it scarred like a disease might a face, because there proves not enough of them to make it smooth, to gladden it. Still, it is a beginning. The hours may bring more.

And now the moon glides back, shedding clouds, which wander away wordlessly.

I turn south and home again. I'll let my brain sort out in dreams my inspiration to go forth into tomorrow.

Emotional Warmth

Wanderlust (Chris LeDoux)

© 2010 Joilene Rasmussen


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)