What To Do With an Extra Hour

harvest moon

The moon is low and orangey-gold in the sky lately, pulling us in and asking us to just linger awhile, don’t you just want to take a minute for a look?

Long before we sleep it’s glowing bright behind the trees in front, and long after we rise Benja is pointing it out from the back windows, “Daddy show moon! Daddy show moon!” as if he’s the first to ever have found it, and then we discover it anew, too.

– – – –

When we were camping this summer, I moved between irritable and annoyed and tense and anxious, because everything’s different and off-schedule and I smell bad and we’re all dirty and it’s so living-in-the-moment that it becomes so so too much for me.

Then, nearly every time we camped, it rained. I was miserable.

During one persistently long rain a friend, a mom with young kids like me so I don’t have any excuses, ran (ran!) into the rain with the kids, inviting them out, saying I’m going to get you and making them scream with delight and I wanted to cry. I wanted to be there, in her skin, able to just go with it, live in the freaking moment, but I was already on next-week-Tuesday, thinking about the mud on the camper floor and the musty clothes I’d have to wash twice and why can’t this just feel easy?

– – – –

Last week, on a night when we drove home too late, we all stared at that orange moon. I don’t know if she was pulling us in like the tide, but we were transfixed. We walked out into the cool, already damp grass and crisp dead leaves everywhere, and Audrey said she wanted to lay down and look at the stars. It was already too late and it was cold and the grass was wet but I said yes. Yes, lay down in the grass.

We were there, there was now, the moon was calling to us like a siren, and the universe asked for us to pause for just a minute and look up, together and separately, into the vast unknown and marvel.

A few days later, time marched on and we changed our clocks back an hour, but did we really gain anything?

But that night, the moon, so lovely and low and just so close you could run to it, the moon called to me and I said yes and I paused. I want to practice living there. That is, now.

Because I can grab this moment, then the next one, and when the writing itch comes along I can drop the laundry, half-folded, and come here and write, because this moment is calling for these words, and this moment, these.

So don’t fool yourself into thinking we’re really saving (or losing) anything by spinning the hands of our clocks.

We’re really just playing with our perception — and maybe that’s all that’s needed. New eyes to step back and see these moments, to really live in them, because that moon? That beauty really is a sight to behold. It would be a shame to miss it.

To get a better view, I recommend laying in the grass — or running in the rain.

  • http://annieathome.com Annie Barnett

    This is beautiful, Kim – full of the earnest struggle and all. I can be that Mom sometimes, running in the rain and serving as ringmaster of all things fun and free, and other times I am on to next Tuesday. And i bet it’s as confusing to my kids as it is to me, sometimes. Growing with you in this fully present living, and grateful for your words here.