As I gazed at the gorgeous Supermoon last Saturday, I couldn't help but wonder how many romantic encounters were inspired, or at least enhanced, by its breathtaking beauty. How many marriage proposals were spawned that night, how many first kisses tendered, how many magical moments shared?
By the light of the silvery moon, I want to spoon.
To my honey I'll croon love's tune . . .
My father was and always will be my favorite crooner. Forget Sinatra and Connick, Bing and Buble, none of them could touch my heart the way Daddy did with those old songs. He wasn't a trained musician, nor was he exceptionally gifted vocally, but he loved to sing and he taught himself to play 'ukulele and harmonica. When I was a preschooler spending my days at his dental office, he would serenade me between patients. Evenings at home were filled with song and laughter; even when Daddy turned on the TV, his 'ukulele lay at his side, to be picked up and plunked at every commercial break. Sometimes Mom and I sang along, sometimes we just listened. Daddy sang everything with a smile on his face, even the sad songs.
. . . "You have stolen my heart, now don't go 'way,"
As we sang love's old sweet song on Moonlight Bay.
Early Saturday evening, when the moon hung low and golden over the Central Valley, all of Daddy's moon-June-spoon tunes crept back into my head, along with wistful memories and musings.
Shine on, shine on, Harvest Moon, up in the sky.
I ain't had no lovin' since January, February, June or July.
Now, I've had lots of likin' and even a little lustin' lately, but no lovin'. And I'm OK with that, most of the time. As an over-50 widow of five years, I've laid to rest the Prince Charming dream. I've had three husbands and plenty of lovin' - and I do mean love, not sex. I know how fortunate I am to have experienced true love, so facing the future alone doesn't really bother me. Most of the time.
Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own . . .
Not too long and yet a lifetime ago, under another golden moon, I told someone special the Japanese folk tale of the rabbit in the moon. Long ago, a rabbit and his friends, a monkey and a fox, came across a tired and hungry wanderer. The monkey gathered nuts for the stranger, the fox caught a fish, but the rabbit could find nothing to offer. So he asked his friends to build a fire, then he implored the old man, "Please eat me," as he threw himself onto the flames. Turns out the wanderer was actually the Lord of the Heavens in earthly disguise, and he rewarded the rabbit's generosity and self-sacrifice with eternal life on the moon. That's why Japanese children see a rabbit instead of a man in the moon. Apparently, Mexican children do too, as there is an Aztec legend that's nearly identical to the Asian tale.
Saturday night I saw the rabbit in full glory and wondered if my sweetheart could see it from his vantage point, wherever that might be.
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker . . .
We're after the same rainbow's end,
Waiting 'round the bend . . .
Moon River and me.
Funny, with all the melancholy moon songs in Daddy's repertoire, the song that made me saddest was "You Are My Sunshine." I cried every time he sang that wretched second verse:
The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamt I held you in my arms.
But when I woke, dear, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried.
What kind of sunshine song is that? Why, it doesn't even rhyme.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore! . . .
When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool, that's amore!
Now THAT'S-a music!
By 1 Sunday morning, the Supermoon was high overhead, smaller but still spectacular. Alone on a hillside, savoring the cool, crisp Maui night, I could feel its heavenly magnetism; I understood how it inspires songwriters and storytellers, why it arouses such passion in regular folks. I was overcome by its celestial splendor. Or maybe it was my father's voice in my head, my personal soundtrack for the evening. Either way, it was a super night for a sentimental fool like me.
When the moon comes over the mountain,
Every beam brings a dream, dear, of you . . .
Each day is gray and dreary
But the night is bright and cheery.
When the moon comes over the mountain,
I'm alone with my memories of you.
* Kathy Collins is a performance artist, broadcaster and freelance writer whose "Sharing Mana'o" column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.