When the phone beeped, I considered letting it go. My friends didn't expect me to answer. I was terrible at answering. An aging Blackberry with a broken battery cover and missing rolling ball, my phone had been in such a state for almost two years. It had never received data. The phone company failed to update the software, and I barely remembered to carry it.
Somehow, though, I magically remembered to check it soon after the beeps.
"Thank you for a great day!!" read the text. "Look outside – the moon is amazing. Looks like a harvest moon."
And I smiled.
It was a great day. Long walks bookended brunch with a friend and my brother, a movie, a museum, and I almost felt up to the cupcakes our friend had baked. Almost. (I would have, at least, if not for the brioche French toast served with chocolate and marshmallows. After that, I wasn't sure I'd eat for days. Nothing but rice cakes. Rice cakes and red wine.) Almost more than the day, I loved the fact that my friend texted to tell me to go out and look at the moon.
The moon was one of my favorite things, and I'd taken hundreds – thousands – of pictures of it in the past year or two. Granted, the moon hadn't changed. It had carried the same set of footprints and the same silly flag for all of my life (and I had waited hours in line to meet the very remarkable men who put them there).
Month after month, cycle after cycle, the moon stayed the same with the footprints and flag, but every month, I photographed it. Sometimes, it was closer or farther (not that I could tell). The things that differed to me, from month to month, were the things in between us - the clouds and the sky, the place that I was, the time, me. I changed far more than the moon, and so, I kept shooting. I kept taking pictures of the same giant rock.
When I got the text, I found a pair of thick, furry boots. It was either those or the combat boots over my bare feet. I had been wearing pajamas for a couple of hours, but nobody would care, right? I didn't care. That was all the mattered.
So, in my fleecy Nordic pants and bra-less under a university sweatshirt, with a swinging ponytail and sockless in thick, furry boots, I went outside to see what I could see, to take pictures of that same giant rock.
The moon was still low in the sky. (I'd pulled on the pajamas rather early; it had been a long day.) I had to walk a bit before I could get a clear shot and a bit farther before I could get the shot that I wanted.
"Getting a picture of the moon?" called a voice from across the street.
"It's just gorgeous," I replied, slightly self conscious. Nordic pants. Braless. Ponytail.
"That's awesome," the woman yelled.
I walked a bit farther and took a few more pictures. I sent one to my friend and let her know it wasn't the harvest moon (that was September) but rather the full wolf moon.
"Native Americans and medieval Europeans named January's full moon after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the midwinter paucity of food. Other names for this month's full moon include old moon and ice moon," according to National Geographic
I wondered how, exactly, to text a howl.