19 January 2016 The other night, as we walked home, a full moon shone above us. Low in the sky, it gave us license to explain away the day's missed connections and inconsistencies. Weird interaction? It was because of the moon. A memory lapse? Oh, right - that moon!
But did we really believe that those anomalies had been caused by the moon? We did and we didn't -- but we wanted to believe. It was more fun, reassuring, even, to point a finger at that full moon than to have no answer at all.
For lots of us, these beliefs have been rattling around for so long, they're nearly second-nature. In a quick sweep, we found that many of our nearest and dearest avoid walking under ladders and crossing a black cat's path. When we think seriously about it, sure, we can see that superstitions have a childish, silly quality to them. But in adult life, with its unavoidable realities and challenges, it seems only natural to seek an easier explanation. That small bit of comfort we're afforded when we make sense of something is the reward.
Like that stash of emergency ice cream, these superstitions will be kept close, for they have the power to soothe and to brighten. At a time when so many things feel out of our control, we can't think of a single thing wrong with that.