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.