It’s 10 at night and I forgot to mail a letter, so I step out into the darkness and drive the electric cart the quarter-mile to the mail shack.
As I pull out of my bumpy tree-lined lane to the road skirting the island’s airfield, there’s the moon. A big, orange moon, just rising in the inky indigo sky. Not quite full. Still a bit egg shaped, like a child’s balloon escaping to the top of the circus tent.
The mail shack is on the far side of the grass landing strip. I park on the roadside and walk across by flashlight. Careful not to step in deer poop. Dropping my letter in the big green mailbag.
Returning, I stop to gaze upward. Still low in the sky, just nestling in the treetops, the moon silhouettes needled branches sticking up like a Mohawk haircut on a big Douglas fir. Scanning the broad sky, my eye finds two sand-grain points of light that are the night’s first stars. No breath of air stirs. It’s silent and peaceful and beautiful beyond words.
Driving home, I leave the headlights dark and bump along by the light of the moon.
It has been a little while since I stopped to look around. Only after she was gone did I realize that I only ever really cared about such things so I could share them with her. “Oh, sweetie, you have to come see.” She’s why I would stop. She’s why I would look and listen.
Now I don’t have her to share it with. But I still have you.