being in the desert makes you more acutely aware of the moon and its phases.  you are often dozens of miles from the closest town and that town is probably very small, meaning the light pollution is minimal.  the march full moon is tomorrow, which will light up the desert like an overhead LED, but we've been able to see pretty clearly for several days now.  the harshness of the desert is softened by moonlight, and everything takes on a calming, pale blue hue.  though many desert animals are nocturnal--an adaptation to life in the scorching hot chihuhuan desert through which we're traveling--the presence of animals at night is somehow less menacing.  as i was lying in the covers, staring at the moonlit landscape around me, i became very sad.  people have become so used to artificial light that they often don't get to experience a place in natural lighting.  the dark becomes a scary place that we feel we must tame with lights.  i have always been afraid of the dark and the things that creep around in it, but at night here in the desert, i feel like i have a place in the landscape.