Full Moon Rattle

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I hear the thunder rumble, low and irritated in the deepening grey sky.  Punctuated by fitful bursts of light slicing the darkness.  And I remember.

Awakening in the middle of the night.  Familiar sounds.  My dog whimpering to be let out. Licking me gently.  Wake up! Wake up!  he begs.  I peel an eyelid back and pierce the darkness with my gaze.  Its late.  Too late.  The middle of the night kind of late.  Do I REALLY have to get up Now?  Still, he whimpers, pleads, groans.  Yes.  I do.
Half asleep,  I manage to get out of bed, fumble in the darkness for his leash.  In my fumbling, I hear something fall, hit the ground.  Not exactly crash or break.  But a distinct sound nonetheless.  What is that, I wonder.  I look down.  In from of my feet,  lies a rattle.  A well used and loved wooden maraca.  Handle broken off at the end, the word “honduras” etched into its painted surface.  Really?  I think.  Now?    But who can ignore what is right in from of them?  Who can just step over what is at their feet?  So I reach down and pick it up, feel its weight, hear its song itching to be released.  My hand vibrates.
I put the leash on the dog and walk outside.  Into the midnight.  Into the woods.  The dog trots off and I am alone.  I look up and see the Full moon.  Round, crystal clear, illuminating everything.  I feel its light, like a a shaft from above, gazing directly at me.   As I ground through the soles of my feet into the earth, I notice just how still it is outside.  Totally still.  Hot.  Humid.  Not a breeze anywhere.  I take a deep breath and rattle.  timidly.  It is so still and quiet, that even the smallest sound reverberates in this climate.  I am careful.  Gentle.  I rattle big circles around me. I tenderly shake the night.
 I briefly wonder what the the neighbors think and remember Everyone is asleep.   I rattle with my breath, steadily, and let it go.  It is not a long and involved sort of thing.  It takes only a few moments of actual time.  But then, I really have no idea what time it is or how much has passed.  seconds?  minutes?  not hours.  The dog trots back to me, barks a low request.  Its time to go in.  I close this moment and settle my rattle.  I pull myself back and go into bed, falling asleep deeply and quickly.
Everyone sleeps well that night.  Wakes refreshed and happy.
Without knowing that I woke at midnight to rattle by the light of the Strawberry Full Moon.
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