My room was on the top floor of the Dallas hotel. I pulled back the curtain to take in the view of red lights leaving town, many cars headed towards their respective homes. Hopefully, people would soon get out of those cars after they were done racing one another to the exit signs and open a door to a home filled with people they loved. I was 600 miles away from my home. It was getting late, about the time my wife was probably bathing and dressing my daughter for bed. I was thankful not to be in the traffic I saw many floors below, but yearned to be upstairs in my own home helping someone put on their PJs.
Then I looked up, above the concrete and standstill and saw it. Illuminating the city nearly all by itself and in clear view was the moon. Nearly full, it shone down on me and all that traffic, and when I saw it, without thinking, to just me standing there, I pointed at it with a half crooked finger and said out loud, "Moon," just like my daughter does.
Since she first learned the word, she enjoys pointing out moons - full or crescent - in books and outside when she can see it, usually early in the morning or if she's lucky, later in the afternoon. She is proud of herself for finding it and I encourage this, often repeating after her that she's right. That is indeed the moon.
And on this night, alone in a room, I saw that same moon that she probably saw before bath time. I pointed it out and imagined that she did the same to her mom a few hours ago. While staring up at that moon, I suddenly felt at home, connected to the people I love the most.
We all need something like this, be it a celestial orb, a photograph, a tattoo, a note, or a keepsake. We need something to see when we're lonely or downtrodden or aggravated. We need something to hold that can simultaneously hold us, letting us know that someone whose heart we keep isn't as far away as the distance would make us think. We need an anchor for life's chaotic ebb and flow.
We need a moon.