Jeb scootches in beneath the blanket, nestling himself between the Bohemian and I. We are laid out on the lawn, under a dome of stars, watching a curved shadow slowly creep across the moon.
Gazing skyward, we play “Techno Cosmo,” guessing whether any light-in-motion we see is human-made or celestial. We see mostly ‘techno,’ though the Bohemian catches one shooting star and both of my family members observe an inexplicable flash in the sky. I missed it, as my head was down toward the bowl of popcorn situated in my lap.
Of course, the big show was the ‘cosmo’ event of the full lunar eclipse. By the time the entire moon was covered in a hue of warm honey, Jeb was asleep, and I too, was fading fast. The Bohemian sang a quiet Czech song, lullabyesque, as I drifted off. Between the realms, I could discern one word – lasko. “Love”.
It was nice to be away from artificial light. Linger outside in the dark with the wind, the clouds, and one big old moon.
I guess we hadn’t had enough of grassroots, as we awoke this morning to no power in our house. In our abode we need electricity for water, lights and the internet. So before sunrise I was back to the basics, enjoying the irony of a couple of candles juxtaposing my laptop (which still ran on battery power).
With no way to reach the world-wide web, I contemplated the stamp upon my candle. The molten word “nirvana” glowing golden, just like last night’s moon.
He sweats for eight hours, caring for hundreds of trees and making medicine from their fruit. When he’s done, he comes home and shovels. Turns hard ground to make way for a family garden.
When a ten-year old asks him to pause and play soccer, he’ll spear the spade in the loose soil and give a hearty game. Run the field. Make and block goals. Laugh.
I’ve seen middle-aged ladies in mini-vans with bumper stickers that read, “I love my husband.” A pronouncement so conventional and ordinary, I’ve wondered why anyone would glue it to the body of their vehicle and drive about.
But now I’m married. And at 40, I’m officially ‘middle-aged.’ I may not have a mini-van, but there he is. Washing dishes at the sink. Replacing rusty screws on my license plate. Whistling some soothing tune through his lips, all the while. So often he opts for “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
And here I am. This wife who’s ready to find her decal and proclaim her gratitude to the world. Never having thought that ordinary could feel so rare.
Having been born upon a warm speck of an island, Jeb’s ten years in Hawaii have exposed him little to temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. He’s seen snow twice in his lifetime and has never heard of an electric blanket (“You plug in a blanket? Why?”). His greatest exposure to any “real” winter has been limited to holidays in the climes of California.
So when a “cold” snap came through our island last night, cooling the air with some dramatic winds, we all feebly slipped on socks and shivered. The temperature gauge read about 63.
“Mom, it’s so cold in my room right now.”
“I know, it’s a little chilly tonight.”
“No, I mean it’s really cold. It’s cold like California.”