I biked to Astoria Park to watch the moon become undone by the Earth’s shadow. Quiet and meditative we sat by the bench next to the East River. I passed my binoculars from one hand to another, watching the moon turn dark, or as my friend Jane said, painted over. The next supermoon eclipse is set for 2033. Who knows where we’ll be and how many cats we’ll have.
I don’t know if it was the energy of being out during the frenzy of a fall night, but we delved into insightful discussions. My sister talked about free will, and my friend described her thesis on nature’s seemingly perfect order and simplicity. One can argue that within nature’s complexity there’s a hidden simplicity or a perfect balance. We went back and forth. My sister argued that nature itself is complex and chaotic. It’s a good thesis topic since there’s room for debate, and it’s not easily proved. It’s lovely when discussions stay discussions, and not turn into arguments.
We talked about our plans, work, school, our recent (shameful) crushes, and at some point my sister wanted to sing.
“Do you sing?”
“Let me see if I can make up a song,” my friend said.
She began singing in her Ghanaian dialect. It was beautiful. The mixing of her voice, the airy fall weather and the moon turning red, enlightened our hearts and minds.
I’m shy when it comes to singing. Lately I’ve wanted to explore my voice. I use to be in a choir growing up, but I hated singing and asked to be place in the back or misbehaved on purpose. In the company of these girls, I was brave enough to sing.
Being out that night I felt a little freer, a little lighter, like a huge burden was lifted off. Observing a natural change makes me feel ordinary. We live in the corner of a galaxy filled with an innumerable number of stars and solar systems. The great magnificence is around us and we are lucky to be alive to see it.
“What do we all want in the end?” My friend asked.
“Happiness,” I said. I threw the word out to the night and gave it to everyone. A word I hardly say, felt true out loud.
It sounds dreamy, perhaps unrealistic, but happiness doesn’t have one definition. Mine is not yours. To be lost and found is where we are.
The moon had all but faded into an orange, reddish hue; it was getting late. People were still out sitting by the grassy areas. Some taking photos, others hugging their lovers, old men walking their dogs, and young men smoking weed nearby. We walked some more to a spot where you could see the now red moon a bit better. We each stepped on a high stump and took one last look.
“Let’s make a wish upon a moon.”