I step around the barn in the twilight and see the half moon shimmering above the barn’s back corner, like a surprise.
I empty the ash bucket and set it on the cement step, waiting for my daughters and our twilight walk, as the dusk shakes down.
A year ago, my oldest was in New Mexico, visiting my parents and hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend. After a wild wind and rain storm, the power went out, and my youngest and I ate take-out by candlelight. Always, at this time of year, as the days perceptibly shorter, I realize how profoundly cold and dark has wound into my life, spread physically and metaphorically into the life I’ve shaped as a woman and a mother.
What’s different this year is the collective darkness of disease as the rates of Covid increase around our little world, of the unraveling political world relentlessly marching along.
And yet — there’s that ancient silent moon.
My daughters are laughing as they walk towards me.
What? I ask.
They look at each other again, and my oldest says, Nothing, Mom, and then they laugh again.
“I am more convinced than ever that we are shards of others.”
— Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers