The world is black and white and silver beneath the full moon as I stumble down the hallway and retrieve a hungry boy from his crib. It’s been weeks now since we’ve needed to turn on the light to help us latch, so as we enter the room, the nursing chair waits in a mural of interrupted white from beyond the window. As we step into range, zebra stripes rush up our bodies, disorienting, so strong they almost seem a tangible creature.
The baby settles in to his job with deep concentration, his free hand grasping, releasing, and grasping my finger. The strength of his grip measures his progress from wakeful hunger back to peaceful sleep. Strips of brilliance curve around the shape of his head. It’s so bright, as if something punched a hole in the universe, and all the light of Heaven now pours through a disc the size of a quarter hung in the center of the sky.
We switch sides, and the stripes curve the opposite direction. His hand still wraps my finger, but hesitantly, pausing longer between grips. Silver skitters over my face, making me aware of my own nose, my eyelashes–things I can always see, but never notice. I wake my brain, willing it to commit this moment to memory. So many beautiful moments have disappeared. I hope that once the clutter of early childhood’s constant need fades, my mind will be able to retrieve some of them, but I’m not confident. Christian remembers things I’ve already forgotten. This moment–this one, at least–I want seared into brain and body until it is a visceral thing, the pattern of light and dark disrupting normalcy with magic. Reminding me how close by the side of transcendence lies every moment.
(Note: no, we do not have a full moon right now. I’ve been sitting on this moment for a couple of weeks.)