Tonight we watched the moon rise, one evening past full moon, from the eastern side of the hill. Standing in the grass at the top of the slope, we remembered how we had once planned to build our house in this very spot. We would have a home nestled in the eastern curve of the hill, protected by the trees and near the rag-tag orchard Ken’s grandfather planted many decades ago. Now this view is interrupted by a radio tower, blinking incessantly, and the ongoing roar of lawnmowers trimming the ground around a housing development that sprung up here in recent years.
Over 20 years ago, pre-radio tower and pre-housing development, I spent hours in this very field, figuring out my kitchen view of the sky and bedroom leaning toward the woods. This was where we would live, we decided, for the rest of our lives. Until we decided something else.
It happened one bright spring day, too cold to not have a coat. We walked to the west side of the hill, sat down on the slope and looked at the sky. “We could just build here,” Ken said. “We could see the weather coming.” A click. We both knew instantly. So we changed plans in a hurry, and began dreaming out a southwest-facing home instead of a due-eastern one.
It’s worked beautifully for us. We like looking into the future, tracking the weather to come, far more than seeing the tail-end of what’s leaving slowly or in a hurry. Being in such a place means we’re more exposed, but we’re okay with this trade-off.
Now, almost 20 years later, we watch the moon rise over the past. Large and orange, it makes all we see glow awake. Then we return through the dense forest, stepping gingerly among raspberry bushes and fallen branches, finding the old road back to our home. Once it’s in sight, so is the night sky, welcoming us back.