It’s happened twice in the past few evenings. Walking out back to call in my cat, I’ve jumped at the sight of the low orange globe of the moon. I wouldn’t expect to see her so low on the sky when twilight was hours ago. I haven’t yet learned the slow brooding pace of her trek through the black island night.
Each evening she sets out one hour later, heaving her belly up from the behind the horizon. She pauses to rest where the waves meet the sky, gathering strength for the painstaking climb. I feel I’m intruding, naive and gawking, watching her sit alone on the ocean just before midnight. Her work just begins as I go to bed.
Her soft milky glow isn’t strong enough yet to leave any shimmery wake. For now it surrounds her, keeping her safe from the dark steely clouds now approaching. I start to feel nervous, but she remains calm. Closer and faster they come. When they cover her face I hold my breath. For a heartbeat. Till she slips out of their grasp, quiet, determined, weakening their hold with her light.
Full on she emerges, quickening now, brighter, more golden, intense. Brilliant and sprightly ascending the sky, she’s one struggle closer to the end of the night. I can turn in now, knowing she’s there.
And on that day, months from now, when they break into my house, I remember her strength and I pray for the light. All night I wait, hiding and praying. Breathing. Alone in the dark on the edge of an island. Then morning arrives and I am all right.