Moon beams bouncing light off the icy asphalt lit the path on what was usually a dark, if not spooky, walk into the building. The welcome light prompted me to look up in admiration and whisper Thank you to the moon. That’s when I noticed I wasn’t alone in the parking lot.
Startled, I relaxed recognizing the shift manager resting against the trunk of his car. Visibly tired and perhaps sad, I asked him if everything was alright. He nodded and said, ” Yes, I was just looking at the moon.”
I looked up again at the bright sky and said, “I was just doing the same.” He laughed a little and said, “I heard you say thank you to the moon.”
I smiled and said, “I was grateful to have the light accompany me into the building this morning.”
He said, “I was just looking at this moon and thinking. This cannot be the same moon I saw from my home. This cannot be the same moon my family is seeing so far away. Everything feels so different, but I know there is only one moon and this is that moon.”
His heartfelt words stopped me in my tracks. ” Where is home?”
” I am from Somalia.”
“Ah, yes. The night sky there must be amazing. I was in the Rift Valley in Kenya and I must say the night sky was spectacular. I had the good fortune to visit Namibia and there too the stars were so bright, an unforgettable experience.”
“I have not been to Namibia, but I think the Kenyan sky you saw must be very close to the sky my family sees at night. So, now you understand too, that there is nothing like the African sky. I hope someday I can return but for now I work and hope for a better life for my family. I am saving for their journey and pray for their safety until we are reunited.”
I nodded in agreement. Unable to find the words to comfort him feeling that no matter what I said would be woefully inadequate. I sputtered, “How long have you been working here?”
“Five years. This is a hard and cold job, but I just keep my focus on my family to get through each day. But on mornings like this, when the moon taps me on the shoulder, I feel so homesick my heart aches.”
“I can’t imagine how hard it must be.” I offered knowing my words sounded hollow. ” I am sorry you are going through this and I will pray too for their safety until you are reunited.”
“Thank you. And thank you for stopping to check if I was alright.”
“Sure thing.” We exchanged a smile and a nod and went about our way into the building to carry out our daily tasks.
When I see the moon hanging brightly in the sky, I think about him and wonder if his family has escaped to safety. If all his work and sacrifice has been rewarded. You see, he worked a hard job in a food processing facility showing up every day and giving his best. Keeping his focus on his family and the possibility of providing them a safe and better life.
A Peaceful United Transition
The fallout from the long divisive election cycle has left many if not most of us exhausted. The onslaught of vicious chatter, hatred, lies, and conspiracy theories have been relentless. And if you are like us in a swing state, you can’t even watch 10 minutes of television without attack ads shouting at you through the screen. Take heart, we are almost to the end of the campaign. Next we must all hope for a peaceful, united transition.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? We all want the same thing. A safe and good life for our family and friends and our extended community. Whether we look at the moon from North America or Africa, or anywhere on our earth, we are all the same. United in the same desires and dreams of a peaceful existence with shelter, free from hunger and thirst, and the company of our loved ones.