Thursday, November 1, 2018


            It was a Kim moment. I looked out the window over the lake and saw that the moon’s reflection on the water was startlingly beautiful. I called Kim up from the basement, where she was unpacking, to see it. She did more than see it – she grabbed her camera and hurried out the back door. What made this a Kim moment was her being in her pajamas, normally a sign that it’s Netflix time. She was also wearing her socks, one of which was packed with ice because she had slammed her toe into a dresser in our realigned bedroom. Nevertheless – out the door, down the steps to the shore, where we struggled to get the right shutter speed and exposure for bright moon and dark clouds and water. 

            I spent about an hour, while Kim was unpacking, looking for a poem I wrote years ago, one that captured the essence of this experience. I finally found the poem, but it urns out that I didn’t write it at all – Robert Francis wrote it. (I could have written it if he hadn’t written it first.)


Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me the clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me ‘till
I’m half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I’m not too hard persuaded.

                                                --Robert Francis

            Actually, it’s usually Kim who first spots the moment of beauty and summons me to look, much as my  the poem describes. I’ll take credit where I can -- I saw the moon-lake first. We photographed it for several nights, though not in pajamas.

            It was Kim who summoned me to see how you can enjoy a sunset when looking east.

            And a sunrise:

In the afternoon Kim summoned me to walk down the road where we now live,

and back again. That's our home in the distance.

            And it was Kim’s son, Scott, who started this whole thing by calling her in the middle of the night, insisting that she get out of bed and go outside to see the northern lights. She did, and she got me to go with her. My life has not been the same since then. I’ve been summoned.

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