Ordinary Stuff

Written By: Charles - Jun• 19•10

Beltane                                       Waxing Strawberry Moon

The half Strawberry moon hangs just above the basswoods in our woods.  The night has a velvet texture, not the Elvis portrait kind but the backing for a stunning diamond necklace kind.  The moon lays upon it as a gem of unique character, instead of fire it has a subtle glow, a depth that promises mystery.  As it always is here at this time on night, it is quiet.  Solitary.  Right now it’s just the moon and our house floating along on a dark, silent river.

Somehow melancholy can be transformed now, as if the inner and the outer merge for a moment and the ache dissolves, only a small blackness measured against space.

A friend from long ago, the Alexandria days, wrote on facebook that he had had a tumor removed from his bladder.  His sister-in-law wrote to say she loved him.  I got a quick jolt of time having passed, so much time.  We were high school buddies when I left and now he’s an aging baby boomer like me with health problems and a family that loves him.

This is ordinary stuff, yes.  But it has history, breadth, too, for Larry and I know many of the same people, grew up with them, played little league and sat through 5th grade with Mrs. Craig and listened to Hit the Road, Jack on the high school public address system.

We remember when Alexandria had a thriving downtown, a strong sense of itself, a small town with muscle.  Now it has and has had for a long time, a wasting disease.  Empty storefronts.  Chain businesses on the edge of town with big box architecture and big city charm.  Ferguson’s, a women’s clothing store, is gone.  So is Baumgartners for men.  There was a moment when Alexandria had two movie theaters and plenty of patrons.  We all remember it.

The place where the child has played can never be recovered or repeated, only remembered.  It was there, for me, in that little town, with all those others.  My friends.

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