A Private Conversation
I’ve seen the stars every night for the last 9 months. I’ve watched the hunter sink and rise, and beckon to his comrades in the blackness. I’ve also learned the moon. I know her phases, guess her path, and miss her when she hides. I also met the fog, his blanket of wet unraveled along my path, a snug companion on many of my drives.
One morning last spring, I was on my way to school before the days of baking bread. It was the hour of the changing of the guard, the ominous nod of night in the direction of the day. I knew the moon was full, but I had not see her pearl face since leaving home and arched my neck and bent my eyes through every hill, hoping she had not yet sunk below the covers of the world. I saw the glow of her face through the trees and suspected her presence right along the edge of the earth. I knew the only chance I had of seeing her was over the first ridge, after which there would not be another clearing for several miles, and even that was doubtful. I sped up the northern face of the ridge, though fog began to mar my course in pockets every fifteen yards or so. Nearing the summit, I plunged into a foamy thickness losing sight of all but a couple of feet in front of each headlight. I was forced to slow down, and I expected the worst: I had entered a fog that I was unlikely to exit until coming down the last hill into Moscow. This was not an uncommon experience. One minute brilliant blue skies, the next buried in cloud. And while I had realized long ago that there was something incredible about driving my car through the clouds, this realization was not as exciting as I was hoping to see the face of the moon. However, seconds later, my car found the world, though I did not know then if it really was the world I had been in only moments before. There below me, stretching into the distance was a world of white, hills and plains enveloped in cloud. It was a shimmering robe and bright with pink weaving throughout. To my right I looked into the full and sorrowful face of the moon, but to the left, the piercing gaze of the sun burned across the plains.
I do not imagine that I will ever be able to forget those few moments as I drove through that enchanted land. It was as though I had come in during a private conversation between a man and his wife. I felt uncomfortable and glad all in an instant. It was then if not soon after that I began to more fully realize the fantasy of Creation. Chesterton and MacDonald were right.
After a refreshing 16 months in Potlatch, we are on our way back into Moscow. It has been a glorious time living in this community. We will miss our neighbors, the quiet streets, and yes, even the drives into town.