The Moon and I


Evening descends on this almost mid November day and makes me nervous. The end of daylight savings time has had a week to fuse with my bones and because of it, I feel a heavy scuzz has attached itself to my soul, weighing it down so that normally fluid movements are now jerky and awkward. November. That’s the name of this sickness and I will not truly be well again until mid March or so.
I’m reminded of when the boys were babies and, before bedtime, the same sticky, scared feeling would creep up behind me. Will they sleep tonight and if not how will I function in the morning? I beg of you, I only ask for five minutes. Please go to sleep, please go to sleep, please go to sleep before I can’t take it anymore and jump out the open window, running blindly into the darkness of my own insanity. Yes, I still feel that way in the eves of November, only now the boys are grown and it’s myself I chant those words to. Words; the only thing that flows at this time of year. They spew from my fingertips in a wild and uncontrollable frenzy until I have to wonder if they even belong to me at all. Where do they come from? Where are they born and where, for God’s sake, do they go when they die? I read them back to myself without recognition and yet they were born inside me too and, just like my babies, I beg of them to please, let me sleep.
Once the night has really taken hold and I am the last living and breathing creature on the planet, I look for the moon. She and I are sisters and it’s when we’re together that we adorn ourselves in magnificent midnight costumes of sequins and jewels. I shimmer with a beauty that fades with the sunrise, so there’s only the moon to really appreciate it. She and I become mirror images of each other and from the tips of my hair I can feel delightful moon beams filter through. I am entwined in her magic and grace and sometimes I’m sure it’s all that saves me. When I finally feel sleepy she drapes me in her blanket of light and when I awaken all of my dreams and all of my fears have disappeared, and for a moment I am whole. I am normal. I can relate to the rest of human kind. For a moment.
Because for a moment, it was just the moon and I.
The sun will rise again and with it I will be required to perform the greatest role of my life. I will fool everyone with my enhanced acting abilities until they really believe that I’m the same. Strangers would never guess that I’m not one of them at all, and those closest to me will only feel vaguely disconcerted in my presence. I’m good at this game and the moon has taught me well for just as I scorn myself, so too is she scorned. Perhaps this is why the night is mine. With the sunset my protective shroud is ripped away and I can be viewed as I really and truly am. I am dazed by my difference now, for the sun is powerful enough to make even me forget who I really am. It tricks me into becoming the part I strive to play so that even as I fool those around me, I too am fooled. It lights my stage and transforms me, only to leave me at the end of the day, glaringly transparent, ugly and lacking. But just as the sun abandons me and leaves me to lurk in inky darkness, a solitary beam of white light finds me. It picks me up, it plays beautiful music for me, and we dance together until neither of us is solitary anymore. We are the moon. The moon is me. I can wield moon magic as I please and where I wish and as the moon is, so too am I. Tragic, lovely, dramatic and haunting, bright, light and forever changing.
How can I still deny the power of my words or wish to banish them? They have bestowed a gift of joy where once was sadness, a wish to worship the night instead of skip it entirely. But you see, it’s the moon that wrenched these words from my heart, as she so often does. And tonight I am blessed. For tonight, it is only the moon and I.


Piglet Pandemonium


The best laid plans always begin with a well thought out and perfectly executed idea. This is probably why our plans rarely work well. It all started with the new fence. We himmed and hawed and finally decided on rough cut boards. Functional as well as visibly appealing in my opinion. All summer and most of the fall was dedicated to building my beautiful new fence and after only a dozen or so family meltdowns and a couple of smashed in thumbs, our work was complete. Even the principal of the school had to admire how well my family worked together and after she heard of the fencing job, the boys were excused from announcing in the playground several expletives they’d picked up in the process. And so, with the last hammer of the nail and four letter word uttered, we breathed a sigh of contentment and tucked the pigs into their new enclosures.
During this time one of the sows had farrowed a lovely litter of twelve and as much as I loved having them romp free around the farm, the time had come to separate them from their mom. We were glowing with pride at the new pen we had ready for them. Their house was filled with warm bedding and I imagined how such a welcoming environment would sooth the distress of weaning. As I propped myself against the fence to admire the barnyard, a new thought occurred to me. Unfortunately, the space between the boards was just large enough for the piglets to wiggle through and they’d be running back to mom within seconds. Huh.
“Well, maybe we should string some wire along the bottom?”
“Yes, we could, but I didn’t spend months tearing down all the wire fencing and building a board fence only to put wire over the boards again. What would the point in that be?”(said with escalating hysteria)
“Ok, so now what?”
“How should I know? Why do I always have to come up with a solution?”
And so on and so forth….. If memory serves I should add that one of us chucked the pitch fork into the bush and stalked away with haughty indignation, but I wouldn’t want to mention Paul’s name. After a couple of days, we decided to string some electric fence. Just one strand along the bottom would do the trick until they were bigger and unable to squeeze through the slats. We went to the feed store to make the required purchases and just as we were about to begin setting up, the heavens opened in a freak snowstorm, complete with weather channel warnings and all.  No problem, we’ve worked in worse. With chattering teeth and soaked clothing we were finally able to turn on the electric fence. The faint hum coming from the wire was a sweet sound after all we’d been through and we called the boys over so they could help move the piglets in. Amazingly this went off without a hitch. I was so giddy I wasn’t thinking straight and so the only safety precaution I took was to sing the boys a song:
“Don’t wizz………..on the electric fence!”
Thinking that was sufficient enough information I turned toward the house with plans of a warm and relaxing hot toddy floating around my head.
The screaming and squealing exploded right about then and I turned to see Quinn with one hand on the ground post and the other hand on the electric wire. His eyes were bulging and his horrible scream curled my toes. He managed to let go and began sobbing in great gulps which in turn spooked the piglets something fierce. All I could do was watch as a dozen piglets went running right through the electric fence, out into the barn and straight back to their mom. Little sparks permeated the night and with each squeal I grew closer to the realization that all hope of weaning the piglets was lost, at least on this night.
Once the initial shock wore off, we assessed Quinn and found him to be just fine. Thankfully he stopped drooling and rocking after a couple of days and the only sign that anything happened at all is a funny twitch in the left eyelid.
As for the piglets, I’ve decided that having them romp free around the farm isn’t so bad and eventually they’ll be big enough to move to their new home. We’ve also decided that fencing really isn’t our forte and have abandoned future fencing projects in favor of totally renovating the barn. I have high expectations that our foresight and common sense will carry us through and that the end result won’t be quite as shocking as the new fence proved to be. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?