This I Believe
Essay submission by Misty Brodiaea
October 16, 2006
I believe in November mornings. I believe in the feeling I had as child, waking up on November 1st knowing that a whole bag of candy was waiting for me. It’s the same feeling I have when I’m in love, or packing a suitcase, it’s the feeling I imagine I would have if I were pregnant.
Observing the very ordinary machinations of existence has given me confort when nothing else could. One night in Amsterdam the autumn after my sister died I was riding my bicycle home when I noticed the moon. It was the first time I had noticed anything. Once Leslie was gone nothing made sense to me, and nothing penetrated my malaise, I prayed and meditated, I drank wine alone, I cried and stared at walls. But that night the moon was so perfectly round and yellow that it looked unreal, like it belonged at the opera. It was beautiful, resplendent, prime, and it seemed to smile down at me and say “Live. Live.”
When I looked up a few days later my moon had already grown thin. I was disappointed. Everyday after that, I watched the shadow grow broader and darker until the moon was just a tiny sliver of light and then nothing at all. Holland can be very grey and stormy and I remember that for several days the sky was just darkness. Then one evening there it was, the moon. It came back. I stood there on my balcony and felt hope. One tiny string of grief unwound itself from my heart because I understood; life is so.
Now on crisp autumn mornings I can wake expectantly, although I know that the green of youth is falling away, leaving me flushed with wisdom and browned with sorrows. I won’t live forever, neither will my family nor my lovers, and we won’t stay young.
On November mornings I believe that life and death are closely intertwined. My life will grow thin and dark like the moon and I will grow old and fall away like the leaves in autumn.
Soon the snow will come and cover everything, it will be cold and ofen the sky will be lonely and grey. All of that is coming, but so is Christmas, and in the mean time, there is still so much candy to be eaten.
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