She remains dedicated to posting, even while our new blog page remains in development. Thanks, Margaret!
There is an old photo on our desk. Observed in the light of a certain angle, a negative image appears and, for a moment, you wonder what you’re looking at. When that happens, a full moon also appears in the corner, caused by that same light. The outdated globe on the ceiling casts a yellow-orange ball onto the glass of the frame. For a second, you forget that neither is real, the picture or the moonlight.
As I write tonight, the traffic sounds from the freeway travel through the darkness outside; I can hear the engines because the window’s open, much like on that evening so very many evenings ago: I was just a country kid sitting on a bench in her front porch. A lot feels the same—except tonight there is no moon. And I am grown.
Then—on that once upon a time night—the moon was full and round, illuminating things I’d seen before. That night, instead of traffic, the source of the sound was a combine chugging past on its rounds across the road. Neighbors were finishing up the last of the field which would explain why they were still out there after sundown, for only impending rain or the promise of clearing the last of the swaths warranted late, dimmed hours. The view changed as the chaff swirled, brightened by a bulb of human design as well as a nightlight of creation.
As I sat in the dark, I remember pulling my knees up in front of me, clasping my hands around them and resting my chin on top as children often do. In the kitchen, Mom and Grandma were busy packing some random mix of vegetables into freezer boxes on a night when steam from pots of boiling water roasted the house. The fresh air from outside, sweet with dust from the grain, was welcome. I listened to the older women talking, to the pulse of their voices harmonizing alongside the drone of the machine and the chirp of the crickets, to the rhythm of an instant. A cool breeze lifted my hair. For a little while, the picture was clear.
Contentment, for there can be no other word for a child’s joy and peace:
Brought to light by an everyday harvest moon.