The sun is setting in the sky when we start out to the fields. Tonight we will go to bed late. I dread being tired for school tomorrow, but know that seeing this will be worth it. Every year during the harvest we plant something special. We walk carefully through the dry dusty fields, careful not to trip in the dim light. We walk for at least half an hour until we reach the crest of a small hill.
Mother pulls several small glowing seeds from her pocket and places them in my outstretched hands. I look at the amazing gems with wonder, they shimmer radiantly. A wave of excitement fills me, and I feel like I will burst. My arms tremble but I manage to keep hold of the seeds this time. Last year I had been so excited that I scattered the seeds everywhere! The result was spectacular, I got in big trouble though. This year I have decided I will stay in control. Mother bends down and digs a small hole with her fingers. I put the seeds in, then cover them with soft, dry soil. Mother hands me the watering can and I sprinkle a few drops over the spot. Then we walk a few paces down the hill to wait and watch.
I sit with my legs folded, criss-cross-apple-sauce. I play with the soil between my legs, I love the feel of the earth; it is clean and crumbly. I pour water on some, then I squeeze it in my hands and watch how bit by bit it falls apart as I open my hands. I make a mound of earth in front of my feet and pretend it is a mighty mountain. Just then I see, or feel maybe, a glimmer on the horizon. A tiny ray of silver emerges from the black of the hill.
I watch as it moves, slowly, almost imperceptibly. Like a snail it inches skyward; a little wider now, and wider still. Minutes tick by without notice, I watch and wait, barely realizing that anything is happening. When suddenly the moon is completely visible, and I feel like no time has passed at all. A tiny silver trail follows the moon as it rises higher, and I know it is almost time. I tremble with anticipation. The chord is long and slender attaching the moon to the earth. Beautiful full leaves spread from the graceful trunk. Then something funny happens, like a red and white buoy on the ocean the moon bobs up and down, stuck in place. My mother takes my hand and we rush to the crest of the hill, this is the most important part. A moment is all the time we have, or else everything could be ruined. The moon is about as tall as my face now. My mother reaches for her shears and can’t find them. While she isn’t looking I dab my finger at the moon. It feels soft and powdery like chalky bread. I poke again and stifle a giggle. Then I go a little crazy, I poke the moon with all of my fingers over and over again. I tap it with my fist like I would fluff a flat pillow. I check to make sure my mother is still looking for her scissors, then I can’t resist, I stick my whole face in the moon. Mother turns around and finds the clippers right behind her, they must have fallen out of her pocket. She quickly hands them to me. I cut the stem from the moon, just at the base. The moon hovers for a moment, motionless, it almost looks as if it will fall instead of rising. “Did we wait too long,” I wonder out loud?” My mother anxiously looks down at me, the moon still hovers motionless. My mother bends down and from the bottom gives the moon a little push skyward. It spins and starts rising again from there. I let out my breath, only now realizing that I was holding it. I crumple on the grass to watch the moon rise higher and higher. My mother is still standing though, gazing at the moon in a strange way. She looks down at her hands, and realizes that her palms and fingertips glow where she pushed the moon. She looks up at the moon again, then down at me. She starts laughing, and can’t stop. I look at my hands but become distracted by something glittery on my nose. My whole face and hands glisten with shining, sparkling moon dust. I join in laughing too. I look up and see my face staring back at me. We sit together laughing and watching the moon rise; watching our moon rise. “I wonder if anyone will notice?” I ask as we sit together. Mom just kisses my forehead without a word.