A Northern Wisconsin perfect balmy June night
stars glimmering across the sky, a gentle breeze rattling the Quaking Aspen leaves, and sighing through the pines. I want it to stay like this forever; my shadow is cast across the freshly mowed and fragrant lawn as I stare into the face on the laughing moon so huge above. There goes the Big Dipper but who are those stars- or are they planets? I don’t remember the names of the constellations any more because no one talks about them like my mom and dad did long ago. “There’s Orion, see his belt?” mom would say, her warm breath on my upturned face. A loon cried and mom answered back as we meandered down the road in front of the farm. “See Venus and there’s Jupiter, aren’t they lovely?” In the field a sleeping cow moaned, probably irritated by our chatter. The sweet soft smell of our Bridalveil Spirea bush is mixing with the last few blossoms of the lilacs but it is still too chilly for the hungry mosquitos.
When my mom was my age I had graduated from HIgh School and was not paying much attention to her. I regret that now. My life seemed so important in 1973 and now, well I just wish I had my mom to tell me the secrets of the universe again before she tucked me into my bed upstairs in that room, right up there where my grandson lies sleeping soundly tonight. I pause to rest on the wicker settee on the fairly new deck, thinking about how my eyes don’t see the stars and the moon like they used to. Long ago there was much less sound, cars never raced down our road and you never heard a far-off blaring radio, just perhaps the heart beat of a family drum on Little Round Lake. There was no pink tinge to the southern horizon from the Casino lights.
I stand up and spin around in my pj’s there on the deck for a few seconds in the moonlight, dancing like a young girl again, smiling at my foolishness. My eyes roll back sheepishly as I discover I locked myself out again and my husband is sleeping- so I climb through the window I forgot to lock. “Silly old woman; look at her,” I heard my father say with a smile from somewhere far away beyond that starlit night. “Goodnight guys!” I wave through the kitchen window.