The moon filled the expanse of the sky
She kissed us
This feminine energy
Of love everlasting
My dad drove us into East New York to order the capias that we’d pin to our clothing, for my infant daughter’s christening. It was a time that telephones were still attached to the wall, advertisements were found in glossy magazines, and textbooks were the only requirements for college learning. I’d used a phone directory to guide me toward the mom and pop shop that would make the perfect party favors.
We sat in the front seat of the Malibu Classic and I held my baby girl in my arms. We turned a corner and there over two-story buildings hung the moon. Splendid. It could have been that my state of love changed my vision, but the moon was deep orange in the dark blue sky and she captivated me. I later found out she was the Harvest Moon.
Over the years, I’ve come to know the Harvest Moon as the one who shines her love infinitely. She returns each autumn along with the manifestation of whatever creativity we’ve engaged in for the year. We reap what we sow. That saying always seemed harsh to me. When I reflect on it though, I see that it usually aptly fits and in a positive manner.
I recently recounted to my spouse that I miss my Dad driving me around. He hasn’t driven in years. He gave that up in his sixties. Just like when he put his pack of cigarettes down and never picked up another one. When he made those types of decisions he stuck to them. He’ll be 88 years on September 23- a night close to the full harvest moon this year. He’s still at the assisted living facility. It’s a good place for him and for me. I visit with him and he plays a mean game of dominoes. Doing the math in his head, as he counts points, is the one thing Alzheimer’s hasn’t robbed him of yet. Each week, I take note of something else he’s left behind.
I miss my Dad and the car. When I was super small, he drove me around wherever he went. I was his companion. He often left me in the car when he went into a store. This would be against all of our rules today but then it was just the way we lived. On Saturday’s he’d park on the streets of Red Hook and tool around with his car for hours. I usually sat in the front seat with a new comic book. Archie. Betty and Veronica. Josie and the Pussy Cats. When I was a freshman at community college, he drove me early in the morning to the hospital where I was student nurse. Sometimes he’d pick me up and take me to Flushing Avenue where he’d choose LPs at the record shop. It wasn’t a stretch that I’d be sitting with him and my daughter in the car when I first spied the moon and the moon spied me. I miss those times.
Life has changed. My daughter lives out of state but we still share the love of the moon. We’ll probably chat on the phone this week. I’ll visit my Dad today and he’ll probably chuckle at my domino losses. We’ll take him out to lunch to celebrate his 88 years if he’s up to it. At night, my spouse and I will probably continue to chase the moon. It’s a tender time for which I am grateful.
I prayed that to the moon