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May. 5th, 2004 | 11:01 pm

Tonight was an absolutely beautiful night. A few degrees too warm, but driving around with the windows down and Prince absolutely blasting it was still wonderful. And in the distance there was a fat, pregnant harvest moon clinging to the horizon.

Moon memories:

  • 5 to 10 years old at my friend/babysitter Troy's. They lived in the country, off of a county road. The road was built up and the driveway dipped considerably down to their property. A big tree was right in the armpit of where the driveway and road met. We spent hours and hours swinging from that tree.

    One evening there was a beautiful full moon. It was just above the horizon and I watched it dip into the ditch on the other side of the road. I ran after the moon, wanting to see where it was going to land, but I never found it.

  • Lake Itasca, 6th grade. Lake Itasca State Park, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, was (hopefully still is) the standard class trip for our class. 3 days of camping, campfires, and landsharks.

    One of the activities during the trip was to spend some time completely alone. The entire class walked hand in hand through a trail in the woods, in the middle of night. At some point they dropped you off, walked another 100 feet, dropped the next kid off, and on down the line. You were to sit, not move, entirely by yourself, and listen to the world. Right now, 31 and fairly aware, that sounds wonderful. Back then, 11 and clueless, it was a terrifying proposition. But fate, and the moon, smiled down on me. It was a full moon night, and the moon was at full zenith. The light was pure and bright enough to read by. Sure, a few of the noises in the distance were certainly bears waiting for the right moment, but with the moon shining down on me the moment never came. 5 minutes of relative calm later, Mr. Scanlan came to pick me up, and life went on.

  • August 27, 1988. The first lunar eclipse I was aware off. Saw it at dusk taking a walk from the hotel room in the Twin Cities. My grandfather had taken me down there to take a tour of 3M, which was part of the Richard G. Drew Science Creativity Award I had won as a junior in high school.

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