As I wrote Big Topics at Midnight, the moon waxed and waned across the pages. She was silently shinning over events in the lives of my family:
My grandmother six generations back, the newly widowed Barbara, sat with her newborn and noted with gratitude, Mary Lou and the little sliver of a moon shinin’ outside my window call me back to life. (pg 21)
Elizabeth, my grandmother five generations back, reflected on the night her life turned around, Under the moonless sky filled with twinklin’ stars, my heart broke open like the ice on Tennessee mountain rivers come spring. (pg 181)
Looking up at the moon, I find myself within a universe wider than I can imagine. For me, as for Barbara and Elizabeth in their stories, Lady Moon brings the fullness of the universe close to our hearts, setting life’s crises and joys within the cosmic time frame.
My book reflects that sometimes the moon was a metaphor for far away places or life beyond death:
Great-Great-Grandmother Joanna stayed in the family homeland of Belgium when her infant grandson John and his parents emigrated to the US. As she waved and cried, She knew that soon my parents and I would sail out of her life to a place so far away it might as well be the moon. (pg 16)
John and I are now free to Tango on the clouds, tap on the stars, and turn cartwheels on the moon, recalls Grandmother Ann as she and her husband dance across the heavenly skies after their deaths. (pg 343)
Since the moon has a front row seat to comings and goings here on Earth, I started listening to what she might say for herself. I figured she had a unique perspective that she’d be willing to share:
You, like me, can reflect light effortlessly. Without urgency, moon told to me as I held my newborn Laura in my arms. (pg 98)
One night Moon, taking to those who gathered on a North Carolina Cherokee mound in my imagination, said … In that way, in a mystery beyond all telling, this entire universe is held together by attraction. You can call it gravity if you prefer. Call it whatever you want. (pg 294)
Lady Moon is beautiful and, like a women, moves through her cycle each month. We all watch our one moon rising and falling, from fat and round to a thin crescent, each night that she shows her face. She rises over my life as she rose over my ancestors nearer the dawn of time and will rise over generations yet unborn. The moon is a reminder of the unity we share across geography and time.
Listen closely to that “woman in the moon” tonight.
This is third in a series (following Getting Naked and Nature) about the diversity of the “memoirs” held within Big Topics at Midnight.