peek-a-boo with cheddar moon
i danced with the moon last night. no, really i did. actually it was more peek-a-boo than anything. but we were a pair, the moon and i.
he pulled, i followed.
it started, like many a duet, without me seeing him coming. he tapped on my shoulder from out of the mid-night’s deep blue.
i was driving toward home in what seemed like the dark of night, through the woods, actually, when suddenly the road took a rise. there he was, wide and ready as could be. orange. so orange, i blinked for a minute there, not quite sure what i was seeing. there was something huge and round and the color of grilled cheese, just over the treetops. one minute i saw it, the next it was gone.
had i not been a girl with my hands on the wheel, i would have rolled down the window, gawked. had i not been a girl who does not believe in aliens, i would have thought we were being invaded. by a big wheel of cheddar.
now it’s not every night that the moon is bright orange, and it’s not every night that it calls you by name. but that moon, it called me. i heard it.
if the moon is a magnet, and i think that it must be, it sucked me straight to the water’s edge. i got as close to that moon as the land would allow me. and if i’d had even less sense than i already don’t, i’d have jumped in that lake and slapped through the water.
it took my breath away, that big beautiful moon. took it away in a way that, once again, felt elemental. felt essential. i was just me, little me, and i was pulled through the night, through the glow, by something that never got closer.
to dance with the moon, to play catch with a raindrop, to give names to the flowers, to whisper to worms, is to let down all those things that keep us apart. it is to whirl in the zydeco jig of creation. to say we belong to the same riotous marvelous wonder-filled notion.
once i’d caught sight of that moon, that glorious moon i had dubbed cheddar moon–knowing enough to know all moons have a name, and this was a moon i was deeply being drawn to–i pressed my right foot a little bit nearer to the torn mat under my pedal. i was driving a bit like a woman late for a date. i was afraid by the time i caught up, i might miss him. and this was a dance i was not sitting out.
as i hurried to get there, past a mile or two of trees and old houses, i thought it quite sad all the windows i passed that hadn’t a clue of the moon playing out there.
that moon was a sly one, a sleek one; it did not bare its face to just any old house. it was too low in the sky for most of the folks who were turning out lights, going into bed, missing the peek-a-boo game.
but i knew. that moon was playing with me. and i, overcome, played along. when i got to the place where the road was no longer, or where the road did go on but it was blocked for the night, i simply pulled to the curb, locked the car, and started to walk through the night.
i wasn’t afraid. not much anyway. i was going, after all, to play with the moon. the moon, i knew, was watching. who ever heard of a curly-haired, 50-year-old lady stricken while chasing the moon?
and then i got there. i got to the water’s edge, where the moon was melting all over the water. i stood there, little me, neck bent, head back. my eyes, i’m certain, reflecting the moon.
i heard the slap of the lake, against rocks, against pier. i felt the sand through my toes. i watched as the orange drained out of the moon. the higher it inched, the less cheddar it got.
mostly, i stood very still. i breathed, and i basked in the ooze of the moon on the water. the peek-a-boo game had finally ended. the moon, as it hung there, was bold and unblinking. no shy suitor, this one. it would have beamed beyond day break, i’m certain. but, at last, i bid it good night.
by the time i got home, it was a plain old white gibbous moon. it was still a fine moon. but it wasn’t a cheddar moon. the cheddar moon, just out for a while, had called me to play. and i answered.
ready to lock me up? call the lunatic bin? don’t. it keeps us alive, it keeps us on fire, to never mind bedtime once in a while, to play with the moon instead. have you played with the moon lately? did you happen to take in the cheddar moon last night? i hoped and i prayed as i drank in that moon that my faraway camper took a big gulp of the same up on his faraway island….
and happy birthday, today, to my papa who is no longer around to blow out his candles. he would have had 79. oh my.
oh, last thing: so sorry for the fuzzy moon up above. i am no astrophotographer, just a girl with a lens who, more than anything, wanted to get you a slice of that moon. the cheddar, i’ll never forget.