For the first ten years and six months of my life, I lived in a minuscule Massachusetts town. Aside from schools, churches and municipal buildings, "downtown" consisted of a pizza place, bank, library, gas station, candy store. We didn't have a grocery store, movie theater, or liquor store in our town until I was eight.
My parents loved the town so much that over 10 years we lived in three different houses. The first house we lived in was a farm house with a garden, a barn, cats, and a horse. There was a tree limb that hung over my sisters' bedroom so Dad drilled holes in the roof and hung a swing from the branch into the bedroom. The next house was on the list of historic buildings/homes. Low ceilings and doorways. Amazing antique furniture that we found in the basement and still have. Many trees, including a weeping willow which wept into our small in-ground pool. The third house... Well, my parents saved the best for last.
The third house was built steps from filled-in wetlands and abutted protected woodland on two sides. When we moved in, my father hired men to dig out the filled-in wetlands so we could have a pond, a gigantic pond. We knew Spring had arrived when we spied the Great Blue Heron on the distant shore and the muskrats with their babies by our swing set and the tadpoles darting to and fro in the shallows. Summer brought lots of fishing and canoeing, lady slippers and ferns, frogs and turtles. In Fall we saw double the bold foliage due to its reflection on the water and heard the cry of geese and ducks headed south. Winter meant ice skating, princess pine (with which we made wreaths), and cardinals at the bird feeder. Every season meant walks in the woods and around the pond learning about the wonders of nature. If we saw something we could not identify, we looked it up in the field guides when we got home. If you can't tell, it was my favorite house.
My brother was born and brought home to house number three. A July baby, he spent lots of time outside from day one. The consequence: he cared not what the season or temperature were, he ALWAYS wanted to be outside, much to the chagrin of my if-it-is-under-60-degrees-or-precipitating-in-any-way-I-am-staying-inside-as-much-as-possible mother. My brother's favorite nursery rhyme song was "I See the Moon".
Every night, no matter the weather, before my brother went to bed we would all go outside, look up at the sky, find the moon, and sing:
I see the moon and the moon sees me
Over the top of the Apple Tree
Please let the moon that shines on me
Shine on the ones I love <3
To this day, if the moon is super spectacular, my now 21-year-old brother will call me or my parents will call me and ask "Did you see it?" and I don't even have to ask what 'it' is.
Last evening, I looked at the moon through my lens and was almost moved to sing.