You looked up and caught me watching you from across the table. Your smile started in your eyes and then warmed your whole face like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.
I was in the back of a pickup truck with a group of volunteers just after dark on a cold, windy night, way out on an organic farm up the coast. There was a light shining on the clouds at the crest of the hill above the farm, like headlights from a giant's car. It wavered and grew, teased by the clouds scudding along the hilltop. As I sat there wondering about it, someone asked, "What's that light?"
"It's the full moon rising."
Driving back down the hill through a stand of eucalyptus trees, standing in the wind in the back of the truck, the moon has cleared the hilly horizon, but is hidden behind a small dense cloud, creating a bright white aura that we glimpse through the branches. Just as we exit the tree tunnel, the moon breaks free, lights up the neighboring clouds, the sky, the hills that roll down toward the ocean, and our upturned faces.
She was sitting at the other end of the dining room table from me, energetically discussing divorce and the ethics and emotions of separating entwined lives. The baby was nearly asleep, relaxed against her chest, spine softened into a deep C, the way only baby spines do. One tiny hand was wrapped up in her long dark hair at her neck, and the other arm was flung around her in a hug, small head tucked in against her collar bones. She supported him steadily with one strong arm crossed under his bottom and one hand on his back, fingers splayed to cover the breadth of his chest.
At the barn dance I'm standing near the fireplace, facing down the center aisle between two rows of dancers. This dance involves the lead couple reeling down the line as part of the pattern, a complicated series of spins back and forth across the aisle with each other and each dancer in line from one end to the other. A mother is carrying her young son in a piggy back ride for this dance, coupled with a man across the line. When they reach the head position and start the reel, she doesn't set the boy down, but does the reel bent over to balance him all the way down the line. When they reach the end she bounces to shift him higher on her back and pulls the his arms up over her head so that when she joins her partner's hands to form the arch for the next formation, the small family is joined for the rest of the dancers to pass under.