Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pushing Up The Moon

A few months ago after a concert, I heard my less than sober brother telling our small group of friends "Look at that full moon! Let me tell you how that moon gets up there!" A beer can in one hand, the other one gesturing toward a splendid full moon as he started the story from our childhood that has been passed down for generations. He told the story with such enthusiasm that for a moment I saw the little boy he had been, eyes wide with astonishment, fully believing the far fetched story.

There's a man our Pap knows. He keeps the moon in his big red barn, all locked up tight. Once a month (every once in a while twice a month), its his special job to roll out the moon and he uses magic to push the moon high up into the night sky for all of us to enjoy. He stays up all night watching it. Then in the early hours of the morning, he lassos the moon and pulls and pulls till he's brought it back down to Earth, tucking it back into the barn for safe keeping until its time for the next full moon. Its a very special, important job. 

When my brother and I were children, sitting outside on my grandparents front porch on warm summer evenings, our hair still wet from showers, our grandfather would recite this story every time there was a full moon. In childlike wonder and naivete we had no reason to doubt him. We would beg him to take us to see this man he claimed to know so we could see the moon in the red barn. He told us as part of his friends job, no one was allowed to see the moon when it wasn't in the sky. Our grandfather always told us that it was a special secret. It wasn't until we were teenagers we learned that our mother's grandfather had told her the same story. 

Even when we were old enough to know the truth, my brother and I never corrected our grandfather when we would sit on the porch with him watching the moon rise higher in the night sky and our pap would say "Look at him push up that beautiful moon."

Earlier this evening, I stood out on the deck admiring this months full moon and as always, I heard my grandfather's voice echoing from my childhood, telling me the story. I think for both my brother and I, there's a little part of us that will always believe the story about the man who pushes up the full moon.