“Waxing gibbous”…. This expression made me think of a group of gibbons depilating themselves. After all, the hairless chest is the look these days (in some people’s opinion).
But no, waxing gibbous refers to when the moon is waxing (growing) towards becoming fully illuminated by the sun.
I learned a new word today when I finally looked up “gibbous” instead of just using the word ignorantly. It means “convex or protuberant” – sticking out, like bulgy eyes. I think they used that choice of words because the gibbous phase of the moon is when it is more than half but not quite full.
I grew up with the phrase “the man in the moon” and I still see two eyes and a mouth when I look at the moon.
However, while visiting in Baja, I met a friend there who told me they call it the rabbit in the moon, “el conejo en la luna.” Sure enough, when I looked for a rabbit, I saw it. There he is in the photo below. He’s facing to the left with his long floppy ears streaming over his back. Do you see him? They even have a legend about how he got there.
Quetzalcoatl was tired and hungry. He had traveled far, so he sat down by the side of the road to rest. A little rabbit came along and chatted with him. When the rabbit learned that Quetzalcoatl was hungry, he offered him vegetables to eat, but Quetzelcoatl said he didn’t care much for veggies. He needed something more substantial.
“But I’m only a small insignificant rabbit, and this is the only food I have to offer,” the rabbit said.
Quetzalcoatl was moved by the humility and generosity of the rabbit and he rose up to the moon with the rabbit. He said, “Now you will no longer be insignificant, but be seen and admired by everyone forevermore.”
My own opinion about this legend is, that’s all very nice, but no one asked the rabbit if he wanted to spend the rest of his life up there on the cold lonely moon. It reminded me of people who help blind people cross the road when all they wanted to do was stand on the street corner.
So what do you see? The man or the rabbit? Or both?
Whichever you see, as of this morning’s full moon, it is no longer waxing, but will start waning. Sigh, now I should do a post about Wayne….