reading by the light of the double dd

not a creature was stirring as i looked out the window into the night. not the ‘possum. not the waddling raccoon. not even an owl, the ol’ nightcaller himself.

it was so cold and so quiet last night, you could have heard a snowflake falling. only it was so cold they were up huddling in clouds.

the moon, just a sliver away from the full snow moon, draped its blue light on what in the day had been white. cast shadows, like night lace, all over the lawn.

i could have stood there for hours, locked in my moon meditation. but i thought i heard rustling from the room up above. so i took to the stairs in the dark, just past bedtime.

ah, yes. a creature was stirring, all right. a boy with a beam powered by double-d batteries. a boy in his bed, with a book on his lap, turning the pages with one hand, holding his moon with the other.

seems we were both locked in moonlight meditations. only his offered forth the story of a worm, a worm who keeps track of his days, of his doings.

seems the pages, the pictures, the underground dramas were too much for the boy with his head once kissed, left snug on the pillow.

he was reading by flashlight, a time-honored rite. only this boy’s no fool, he had backups stashed all around him. three tubes of turn-on light. just in case.

he was deep into the earthworm when i came upon him. he barely looked up, barely flinched. certainly didn’t try hiding the light.

i could not protest; in fact, i just melted. rather like a moonbeam on the frozen earth just out the window.

there is something about stumbling upon a child caught up in a moment of childhood, of wonder, of total absorption in a world that is defined, is outlined, only by him.

it’s like watching a child catch a snowflake on her tongue for the first time. or cupping his hands ‘round a firefly.

who teaches these time-honored tricks? is it somewhere deep in our wiring: stop, behold wonder. use your whole body to grasp it, to taste it, to touch it.

to drink it all in by the light of the moonbeam you hold in your hand.

my whisper today is that each one of us, with children or without, discover, re-discover, the magic of stumbling upon wonder and doing our darnedest to hold onto it, to catch it, to tuck it in a jar, to steal a few sacred moments, under the light of the snow moon, ascending, and carry it like a flashlight in our back pocket. where someone obviously had been carrying his.

you can always pull out a little wonder, cast its light on the dark of the world that surrounds you.