Breathe Issue 16

Graceful, enchanting, loyal, wistful, ghostly – how would you describe the Moon? Perhaps dependable should come high in the list of adjectives. Visible or not, the Moon is always there, quietly doing its own thing, whether that’s governing the Earth’s tides or providing a celestial calendar in the night sky.

The planet’s earliest human inhabitants were guided by this natural lunar cycle, adapting their lives to its rhythm and movement. Today, schedules are largely set by the 24-hour mechanised clock, the seconds and minutes relentlessly driving humanity forward, often affording little opportunity for reflection.

Yet allowing oneself time to stop and ruminate is essential for mental wellbeing. Clocking off (some might call it pottering) can happen without thinking – those times when it suddenly becomes imperative to rearrange a book collection in height order or to catalogue vinyl according to genre – and deliver manifold joys.

Then there’s clocking in, consciously paying attention without judgment. It might be listening to a piece of music, for example, and noting the times when the vocals kick in, how long the guitar solo lasts or when the cello fades out.

This awareness needn’t follow a complicated routine or require untold accoutrements. It can be done in your way, at your pace and in your time – regardless of whether that’s by the 21st-century mechanised clock or the light and natural rhythm of the silvery Moon.