Full Moon, May 2023
Updated: May 5
Credit: Frances E. Vandal
Looking out the window pass my patio I can see the full moon rise over the old coyote fence, shining as it moves between the telephone wires and stands of elm trees. The approach of summer can be felt in the warmer air and in the moisture from the thunderclouds forming in
the northwest sky.
The winds have died down and most of the trees in my backyard are in leaf, including the young cottonwood and the tree with the cracked branch bent in an arc to the ground from the spring winds. The pair of tassel-eared squirrels have returned, making their appearance running along the tops of the fence on their way to and from the bird feeder. Maddie is on duty. I feel like planting my cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, collards, and snapdragons in their waiting pots.
The approach of summer can also be felt at Aspen Community School.
School will be out soon. The anticipation rocks the hallways with children moving quickly through them, sometimes running or walking so fast as to be running, and sometimes tossing a basketball as they do. Some of the girls collect and walk in small groups whispering and laughing while others throw their jackets above their heads as they walk alone. The kindergarten and first grade boys run and throw themselves on their knees to slide as far as they can on the dull linoleum. The boys take pride in this ability and are nearly impossible to stop. Teachers tiredly tell them to walk, and at this time of year they most often don’t.
The cafeteria is filled with loud and running young children. A teacher calls loudly for all of them to stop, that this is not how one eats lunch. They stop and stare at the white haired woman standing on a lunch bench, directing them with the command of her voice and her finger pointing down at them. She has their attention for a moment, perhaps two, and then it’s lost in their exuberance and the joy of how their screams reverberate in the big, high ceilinged space. They rediscover the fun of tossing their small milk cartons in the air to see if it will land upright. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it explodes into a puddle.
One of the first grade boys hugs his basketball as he unsteadily carries a tray of frito-pie and apple sauce to a table. He has managed in all the noise and activity to still have possession of it. He sits, then stands, then kneels, then turns around quickly and goes to another table to talk to a friend, occasionally bouncing the basketball. When told to go back and sit down to eat his lunch, he looks up at me, his neck at nearly a 90 degree angle he is so small, and says, “I am not Edwin. I am Edwin Michael Jordan. Call me that.” And I do. The pleasure that gives him lights up his face and that lights up mine. It’s enough to make him sit down to eat.
Of course, I also now have a role model to use when Edwin Michael Jordan grabs a chicken nugget from another kid’s tray causing a fight, picks at his food or throws a carrot at another kid across the table. Michael Jordan wouldn’t do that.
But that was today and now it is quiet. Maddie is sleeping on her bed and I watch the full moon rise.