There is an old song I sing that is adapted from Scripture:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning, new every morning.
Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord.
Great is thy faithfulness.
The new moon or a new sunrise remind me of the words. To be acquainted with God has a freshness for which nothing compares. Recent chores and tasks have been particularly hard for me but the event of observing the recent young moon at sunset reminded me again that His mercy is present and His refreshing is available to those who will call upon Him.
It was the end of a very long day. I was gathering wood with Jamie at Kings Ranch. In the middle of the work I noticed the sliver of the Day 2 moon as I looked west over the San Joaquin Valley. I normally cannot see the moon this early in its cycle in Virginia because of a nearby mountain ridge, but the San Joaquin Valley is very flat and the coastal hills are quite far away. A cold front had recently passed, so the atmosphere was clear. However, we were in the middle of wood gathering, so I had to commit the scene to memory by measuring angles with my hands and fingers to get the moon position and the single star position (up and to the left of the crescent). If I squinted (I am a bit nearsighted), I could see “earthshine” on the remainder of the moon disc. While the atmosphere was clear, the valley is heavy with agriculture, so I could see the brownish red layers in the lower atmosphere below the crescent moon. The tree line was a few hundred yards away; the lights (dots that appear to be at the base of the mountains) were several miles away. I measured the apparent height of the trees to the height of the coastal hills to the height of the moon. I committed the measurements and colors to memory because we were still finishing our task. I did a a quick sketch a few hours later. A day later I did the sketch, which took a little over an hour. Here is the result:
Now my tasks and burdens have continued, but the effort to recall God’s love and mercy is made easier when one remembers a scene like this. So a little observation and the process to record it have reminded me of Him. Indeed, He has refreshed my heart.
Other technical notes:
1. The moon is deliberately drawn several times its size, relative to the rest of the scene, in order to capture what little detail I could see. Other parts of the sketch are in correct proportion.
2. A good grade grey construction paper, pastels, and charcoal pencils were utilized.
3. The image is a digital photograph that is adjusted in contrast and brightness to match the original sketch.