Clouds and Sliding Doors


The full moon was supposed to be pink, but the clouds that had drifted back and forth all day, bringing an occasional breeze, had settled in over Sandhill like gauze.  There was the vaguest hint of light somewhere to the southeast but nothing like the big slice of pink grapefruit I’d been led to expect.  


Yet another blow in a spring in which the rhythm of life has been thrown completely off-kilter.


I am safe.  I am healthy.  I have enough to eat.  I am able to communicate with the people I love even if I can’t touch them.   Still, in the strange new world where there is no Opening Day, no March Madness, no baccalaureates or graduations, no birthday party for either of my great-nieces, and, hardest to believe, no church on Easter, it is tempting to pout.


I got into bed, but did not fall asleep.  I dozed.  I roused.  I changed position.  I turned the pillow over.  I took a drink from the glass of water on the nightstand.  I dozed and roused again.  A couple of hours into the futile efforts I surrendered.

Getting out of bed once you’ve given yourself over to warmth, to softness, to gravity is not easy, but during a prolonged season of insomnia a number of years ago, I learned that the warmth and softness and gravity can quickly become wardens of a solitary prison and that it is best to take advantage of the unlocked door and leave.

So, I left.  Got out of bed and, without turning on a light, started through the house toward the kitchen where I would search out a snack high in carbohydrates and hope that the process of digestion would divert enough blood flow from my brain to make me sleepy.  I had made it down the hall and one foot into the living room when I stopped.  


The entire space was flooded in light.   Moonlight.  The couch, the chair, the lamps, the little bookcase my friend Todd made me, all doused in silvery blue.  Their shapes sharp and three- dimensional.  It could have as easily been high noon as midnight.  The clouds, it would appear, had cleared.


I went to the front door, turned the lock and stepped out onto the porch.  One, two, three, four steps and my toes were dangling off the edge.  There, exactly where it was supposed to be, was the full moon.  Not pink, not as big as it would have been had I seen it earlier, but there.  Round as a biscuit.


The clouds hadn’t actually cleared.  They were still there.  They were moving slowly back and forth like sliding doors.  For a few seconds, they had opened to reveal the moon.  Now they were hovering, waiting to silently glide back in the other direction to hide it again.


There was nothing to do but stand and stare.  To be present and be reminded that the full moon’s rhythm never changes, that its pull on the ocean –  forming waves and creating tides that can be predicted down to the minute – also pulls on me.  To teach and learn again the lesson of waxing and waning. To allow myself a transfusion of wonder and amazement and, on the edge of Easter, a promise of resurrection.

Copyright 2020

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