walking down to the fence

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I hear his key in the door after a long day at work. Then he bursts into the room, “Come outside!”

Ah, the moon is full and he wants to share it with me…

I’m up, moving into the living room to slip into thick rubber rain boots. Then out into the night to find him standing in the front yard, in the dark, looking up at the moon rising the east. Turning my gaze to match his direction, I gasp.

There she is: full, brilliantly shining with clouds framing her as a thick, virile fog rolls in from the bay.

“Wanna walk down to the fence and see the fog?”

I’d spent the day almost entirely in bed, my eyes too blurry to read and my head too spiny and unstable to attend Psychology class that day: tired, in pain, vertigo my enemy today. But I don’t hesitate saying yes. I believe in magic and I believe in turning towards my love. I want to share this moment as fully as possible with him, here, being present in our blessings.

Right hand reaching out in the night seeking his left, our fingers intertwine as we set off down the road toward the edge of the fence.

The edge of the fence is at the end of our street and across the intersecting, busier road. Crossing this road, we carefully pick our way to the fence. It’s only maybe 10, 15 feet, but a bit of a treacherous, boggy because of the ever present and recently especially heavy rains. Walking across the raised ground in between the ruts from the neighbor’s tractor makes when it brings hay out to the cows in the field across the fence is easier than mucking straight through the mess. I only realize this when he tells me as I’m mucking through one of those very trenches.

The cows and their now nealy adult calves are nowhere to be seen tonight, likely they are hunkered down near the bay together for the evening. But the fog is here, coming in at us, a solid wall. A heavy, dense mass of air and mist. It sweeps across the field, holding substance as if picking up stories, nightmares and whispers of enchantment as it travels inland.

I’m not afraid of the approaching fog though. I’ve stood here watching it approach before. The fence always holds it back. The fence is our guard, our protector.

The moon glows with clouds swirling in slow languorous fashion around her. I’ve always thought of the moon as a her. Why do so many people say “the man in the moon” when she is so obviously round, luscious and full of feminine magic? A celestial mother watching over us as we all do our best not to fuck up our lives too much. She is, for me, the pure embodiment of acceptance and compassion, shining down on us, radiating love down on her confused but earnest children.

Tonight she glows especially bright. Her light bouncing and reflecting off the clouds. There is this one long, angular cloud that takes a lifetime to travel across her face. We’re bewitched, utterly beguiled witnessing the multitude of blues, greys, whites, and ambers that emerge as just this one cloud journeys across the heavens. How can there possibly be that many shades of Navy Blue? I wonder… pure magic.

The fog comes closer now, reaching higher as if, in its’ greed, it wants to swallow up the moon’s glory for itself.

The clouds and fog now collude together to blanket the moon, shrouding her light in their haste to be noticed by us, mere mortals below.

So notice them we do.

The way the fog, so thick and hungry, has now made it seem as if we are standing at the edge of the world. Nothing beyond us but emptiness, a void.

“It’s like the Nothingness. Isn’t that what they call it in The Neverending Story?” he asks.

“I don’t remember.”

All I can think of at first is that giant flying dog. I never got that movie. Whatever.

Now, The Dark Crystal I got. It was a spiritual warning about turning our backs against either our darkness or our light. It was a fairy tale extolling the virtues of balance, for clear seeing, for open, wholehearted living. The Secret of NIMH I also got. It told countless interwoven tales of love, loss, oppression, harm and injustice. From that movie I learned about cruelty in a new way, the cruelty of treating living beings like objects. From that movie I learned new ways of being a hero.

We digress for a few minutes about which of these movies has held up best to the passage of time. I think about my Amazon shopping cart that really actually has a copy of The Secret of NIMH in it right now. I think of half lost memories of a mother’s courage and horror. I need to place that order soon, I think.

Then, gently, we’re pulled from the topic of 80’s children’s movies by the sounds of hundreds, maybe thousands, of frogs singing in the field, in the bay. Have they been doing that all along? They sing a celebration of the full moon and the fog and of anonymous humans witnessing it all. My god but they are so loud and alive tonight!

Then, as if the clouds and fog realize they’ve lost their hold on our attention, they part ways and there she, the moon, is again. Shining somehow even brighter than before as she peers from behind the faint tint of leftover, lazy moving fog. There, just at the edge of her radiance, the clouds form a sacred circle around her, amber rings of light beckons us closer and I forget all about movies and Amazon shopping carts and even, if just for a moment, I forget about the man standing next to me.

Then I hear him breathe and take his arm to pull it gently across my shoulders, his hand tenderly pulls me against him.

These are the moments I know that magic is real.

A tangible thing we can touch.


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