Hvar's Night Skies

Published in Highlights
The night skies in Dalmatia are often stunningly beautiful.
Full moon over Pitve, August 10th 2014 Full moon over Pitve, August 10th 2014 Vivian Grisogono
The full moon is always a special event on a clear night. On August 10th 2014, it was extra special, because the moon was relatively close to the earth, and so seemed extra large and bright.

The coastal road between Dubovica bay and Hvar Town offers several vantage points from which one can watch the moon presiding over the water, turning the sea into a gleaming light show.

The Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi asked: "Che fai tu, luna, in ciel? dimmi, che fai?" ("Moon, what are you doing in the sky? Tell me, what are you doing?"). Leopardi saw the moon as all-seeing, all-knowing - and spared the tedium of a mortal life (Leopardi was not a happy man, nor a great optimist). The moon is often seen as watching over human emotions, sometimes those of longing and unrequited love, as in Bellini's exquisite song 'Vaga luna che inargenti'. Very often, the moon is a symbol of love and happiness, as captured beautifully in a modern poem by Jeff Green (aka 'cricketjeff') which describes how the moon helps a romance along by 'pouring the wine'. It's sad to think that on this full-moon night many young people in Hvar would have been too drunk on alcohol, drugs and noise to appreciate the wondrous beauty of the full moon and the special light it casts over the earth. The Bacchanalian revellers might be pleasantly surprised to try the moon's 'wine': exquisite, inspiring, an experience to be savoured. No danger of degrading consequences such as loss of control of bladder, bowel and behaviour; no risk of damaging the health of brain or liver.

The photographs, of course, do not do it justice. The full moon over Hvar is a sight which has to be experienced in person in stillness, whether with a lover, close friends, or alone. This great gift from nature brings both peace and renewed energy to those who care to appreciate it.

© Vivian Grisogono 2014

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