What I didn't realize until I had mined each one of them was that the "moons" are all connected, honoring the POstables, their journeys, their origins, the series in general, and ultimately God.
Moon Water Productions
"Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth...your light shall dawn in darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your soul in dry places and strengthen your bones. You shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail...you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets on which to dwell."
Rita "Moonriver" Haywith
All the way back in the Pilot, Shane asked Oliver to dance, and Rita and Norman played shuffle board, triggering the introduction of Henri Mancini's "Moonriver." In an interesting twist, "Moonriver" is also Rita's middle name.
It reminds us that, in many ways, Rita has been a "guiding light" all along, her courage to step out and pursue her House Rule having a ripple effect among her fellow POstables who followed close behind. Like a continually "watered garden...a spring whose waters do not fail" Rita walked in wisdom and love, embracing the "overflow...of blessings...new every morning" and inspiring those around her to do the same.
Rita hasn't been the only "shining light" of this series. I introduced the concept of Eleanor's name having multiple meanings and interpretations, among them "Shining light from the river" and "river dweller." While rivers don't shine, they do reflect the light of both the sun and the moon, amplifying it, particularly in darkness.
And, in a sense, Eleanor was also "a spring whose waters do not fail," as even in death she brought the POstables so much light and Life, guiding them out of their "darkness" and towards what would "satisfy their souls in dry places and strengthen [their] bones" through her unconventional passport process.
Clair De Lune
The primary subject of the Sentimental Walk series, this Debussy piece, and the way in which it was applied to Shane and Oliver's journey in Higher Ground, brought with it a layered interpretation with roots in poetry that pulled through to the score.
Remember that the Verlaine poem on which Clair De Lune is based describes "a person's soul or innermost being," a place where, in this poem, the soul exhibits emptiness, doubt and unbelief until the "moonlight" reflects back something full, detailed and quietly beautiful.
Which brings me to another important point: Who was really telling this story? While possible---and certainly something of which she is more than capable---I think it hard to give Martha all the credit for how each of these threads seemed to tie back to a scripture so important to her. Clearly it has always been one of Martha's goals to honor God with her work, but in Higher Ground it seems that God went the extra step to honor her back by embedding within it the reminder of His Promise and at the same time renewing it for whatever the next season might hold. Fortunately for us, that season was simply a new start for the POstables and three more films for us to enjoy and be inspired by throughout this year and early next.
The "hidden moons" in Higher Ground are, at their core, a dynamic reference to the POstables, their journeys, their origins, the series in general, and ultimately to God, embedded in the work of the writer who held onto "[His]promise of healing, of productivity, and of purpose...the light in the darkness and [the] overflowing of blessings...new every morning,"sharing that gift with us with each new project.