If you ever park in a South Alabama field at night, you’ll see things that take your breath away. The big waves of grass make it seem as though you’re in the middle of creation.
And God, these stars.
If you happen to know a place like this, don’t tell anyone where it is, or else they’ll build a shopping mall on it.
Of course, at this hour, it’s not about the field, really. It’s about the moon.
I’m writing this while sitting in my truck. I’ve just spent the last three hours watching the moon. Ellie Mae, my coonhound is with me. We split a hamburger for supper on the tailgate—though not equally. She ate the beef, I ate the bread.
When she was done, she stared upward at the sky. She held her eyes on the moon like she could see Neil Armstrong. She stayed like that twenty minutes.
I’ve never seen a dog do that before.
You know, I’m lucky. Admittedly, I haven’t seen much in my life, and I haven’t visited anywhere of merit. But I’m lucky just the same. And I’d be hard pressed to get any more satisfied than I am right now.
Yeah, I know, life is hard. And they say being happy is even harder. It’s true. I’ve known heartache. So have you.
The world can be mean. Some days you wake up and someone busts you in the teeth before it’s even lunchtime. It’s easy to get sad.
But don’t stay that way. You can take my word for it: it will ruin you.
Besides, look at this field. Look at this moon. This world isn’t all thorns. It’s a nice place. We have hamburgers, Ford trucks, coonhounds, number-one pencils, Saturday-morning cartoons, and teenage romances.
I love to watch teenage lovebirds hold hands, something about it makes me believe in love.
I once saw a boy and girl in the movie theater. They might’ve been fourteen. They sat in front of me. The boy’s nervousness could’ve filled a dump truck. When he finally put his arm around the girl, we exchanged glances. He smiled. I winked. I don’t even remember which movie it was.
I doubt that kid does, either.
Anyway, you don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, but it doesn’t matter. You’re just like I am. You put one shoe on at a time. You’ve been wounded, lied to, abused, fired, rejected, or fallen victim to the horrors of American politics. Either way, it’s left you feeling alone.
Well, just take a gander at this moon. It’s been making appearances every night since the dawn of man.
And it comes out each evening just to tell you one thing:
You are not alone.
And never have been.