Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Contentment On a Moonlit Night

I watched the lunar eclipse tonight. It brought back memories. The first time I ever saw an eclipse of the moon, I was in 4th grade. I was living in Africa that year. It's actually one of my strongest memories. We and about 5 other families set up lounge chairs in the yard and watched the eclipse, the entire thing from start to finish. I remember as a child not daring to look away from the sky for a second for fear I'd miss it.

Africa was a different world. There wasn't a lot to do. We didn't have electricity let alone TV. Even then, I loved to read, but with no libraries, you can only get so much from reading the same books over and over. Creativity had a different meaning back then, and my brother and I were masters at it. Watching the eclipse was one of the biggest events for us that year. There we sat, mesmerized, all facing the same direction. The Africans would walk by, look at us, look the direction we faced. What are you looking at? We pointed to the moon. Monsieur and Madame has never seen the moon? And they walked away shaking their heads.

Sometimes I wonder if I could still be that content. Could I live someplace that hard again and still love it? Could I give up internet and cell phones and paved roads and clearance racks and ice cream and libraries and Starbucks and every other amusement? Could I give it up and have as much joy as i did that night? I don't know.

But tonight I watched the lunar eclipse, and I remembered. And I called up my family, my parents next door, my brother 4 hours north, my sister 3000 miles west. And I told them to look. And I wonder if they remember too.

1 comment:

Rambling Rose said...

Yes, I remember. It is one of my strongest memories of Africa too. It was Tim's birthday. Most of our fun memories came from celestial wonders. Hey, I think you just inspired me to write a blog entry. :) I really enjoyed showing Michelle and trying to explain why the moon looked like that.

I too often wonder if I could go back to that kind of life. I definately miss the slower pace but I don't know if I'd be able to give up modern conveniences again.