Saturday, March 19, 2011

Place Blog 6

Saturday night was a night of almost. That night, after spending the evening at Cranberry Township at Ichiban and Barnes and Nobles, I went into the backyard with my boyfriend. It was in the upper 40s throughout the day, but around 10:30 p.m. it was right at freezing, and my blue fall/spring jacket wasn’t enough to block the cold. Very quickly, my fingers started to become uncomfortably cold, and I knew they were probably starting to turn red from the first stages of frostbite, but I didn’t care. I wanted to see the moon.
According to a couple articles I saw online, Saturday night showcased the moon at its closest to the Earth in 18 years. And it was noticeable. Thankfully, the night was clear and I could even make out a few stars from ground level. The moon was incredibly bright and almost double the size it would’ve normally been at its zenith and fullest. It shown behind the garage like a still slumbering  sunrise behind a hill, and rivaled the streetlight that is stationed in my neighbor’s yard. I never before described the moon’s light as golden, but that’s what it was tonight compared to the street light next to it. That would make sense, considering the moon has no light of its own; it simply reflects our yellow sun’s light.
As we stood there, shivering, I looked around and noticed that, as expected, nothing had changed. The door was shut again, everything was where it had been before. The only thing out of place was a random green wooden lawn chair that was placed on the land bridge, causing me to blink at it in confusion and step onto my other neighbor’s driveway just to walk around it.
I looked at my boyfriend and said, “So, this is my backyard.”
“I know. I’ve been back here before.”
“You have? When??”
“I don’t know, at some point. I’ve been in the garage, too.”
“You have?? When??!”
“I don’t know!” he whined. “When there was a lot of stuff in it.”
Which narrows it down to at least before winter. I still can’t remember when or under what conditions he had been back there, and certainly can’t remember any moment during my moving into the house that might’ve caused him to walk into the back yard, much less into the garage.
We didn’t stay in the yard for too long. Just long enough for me to soak in the moonlight like the rejuvenating grass and trees around me. Like them, I was waking up and welcoming spring. It wasn’t until the nice weather lasted for a couple days that I realized how much I had missed it. I have no problem with winter, and this one was no different, and usually the turn of the seasons doesn’t affect me too much. But this year, spring is a relief.
Standing on the yard, knowing my boyfriend was fidgeting in anticipation of going inside where it was warmer, I felt as if I was also standing in the space of waiting—waiting for warmth, be it going inside or soaking in the sunlight. Waiting for the movement that would bring warmth. And maybe the moon being closer and golden bright was a sort of like it was saying, “Don’t worry. Almost.”  
Almost there.
On the point of being almost there, I feel I must mention my boyfriend’s birthday. All the talk about spring and warmer weather actually coincides with it because his birthday is on Monday. When we first met and mentioned birthdays, I said, “Oh! It must be great having your birthday on the first day of spring!” Because, when averaging the dates, it usually falls around the 21st. However, lately it’s been the day before or the day after. He mentioned this by saying, “Yeah! It was great! Until the science and the calendar companies took spring away from me.”


  1. Nicole, I'm glad you got to see the moon last night. I read some of those articles, too, and my husband and I excitedly went out in the yard twice last night--camera in hand--to witness and photograph the bright, shining orb. The first time we went out time it wasn't yet high enough in the sky to be visible above the trees, so we went back in the house and watched a movie. Afterwards, we went back out, but, alas, clouds had rolled in that obscured it from view. The one testament to its special size and brightness was the fact that it lit up the thick clouds between it and us to the extent it turned that one area of dark gray clouds as white as daytime clouds. I'm glad that this morning I at least got to read your lovely description of the once-in-eighteen-years-moon.

  2. We didn't get to see it either due to cloud cover (just like the lunar eclipse I didn't get to see a few months ago). Disappointing, because my daughter got a fancy telescope for her birthday. But I comfort myself that I did see it the night before, in its almost-full state, and it was achingly beautiful.

  3. How did I miss this?! There is no joy more timeless than watching the cosmos. Love it. Wish I'd known, although I imagine we would have been in the same boat.

    Love the comic re-introduction of garage and lawn. Did you ever figure out when he'd been there before? Also enjoyed the "almost" status -- to be "almost" is to be continuously dissatisfied, and there is no better example of this than almost-spring (well, maybe the last days of a life sentence...) Great dialogue, descriptions, etc. This is the kinda vivid I love.