Go expressly to enjoy the moon and it turns to tinsel,
but discover it on a necessary journey
and its beauty bathes the soul.
-Ralph Waldo EmersonTonight, no moon, but feeling moon-y...or is that moody? The full moon energy has waned into a bit of monthly weariness but then again, it's been that kind of few days. But tonight–as we drove off to a church benefit supper at twilight when the purple, advancing wall approached us from the east and to the west it was orange and luminous–I thought about a favorite book of each of our children, but especially Henry. For a year or so of each of their childhoods it became a bedtime ritual. If you do not know the book, I highly recommend it for your own children or grandchildren or even to tuck away one day "in hopes"... I have three hardbacks tucked away myself, one to give each child one day when they have families of their own, or "just because."
It is Grandfather Twilight, written and illustrated by Barbara Berger [originally published by Philomel Books in 1984 and still in print]. It is a quiet and comforting book as Grandfather pulls the night along with him through the forest until he lights his candle and goes to sleep. But first he assembles "an endless strand of pearls" and one grows bigger and bigger as he walks:
"Gently he gives the pearl to the silence above the sea..."
The moon, of course!
If I had the book handy I would photograph some of Berger's exquisite images. [We also have her The Donkey's Dream in our Christmas library.] Grandfather also looks exactly like my husband's father, who the children called "Badda," who passed away in 2001, so it seems all the more poignant as we do miss him and carry him with us always.
Henry used to call this book "Grandfather Toolight" and as I write this I realize he is a week shy of being 12–yes, that was many moons ago now when we read this story together each night. Where do all of those moons go?