The summer night sky was sparkled with stars and a bright full moon. The little girl was seated in the backseat of her grandfather’s Chevy station wagon as they traveled the dirt roads towards his home. It was special for her to be out this late and it made her feel almost like an 8-year-old instead of the mere 7-year-old she was.
“Grandpa, I think the moon is following our car.” She made the declaration with great and serious consideration.
“Hmm,” he replied and then continued, “What makes you think that the moon is following us?”
She became more animated. “So, every time you make a turn in the road, I can still see the moon right there. It has to be following us otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see it when we turned those corners.” And when she explained this to her grandfather, she felt even a wee bit older still.
The old man adjusted the rear-view mirror a bit to glimpse his lovely granddaughter. He felt again the joy of grand parenting. He loved being let into her innocent childish thoughts, so he replied to her comment with a challenge. “Should we take the long way home and make a lot of turns and really check out your theory?”
“Oh yes Grandpa” she was thrilled.
The old man veered about and made many turns so his beloved granddaughter could continue to test her moon theory.
“Grandpa, it’s working. It is still following our car.” She exclaimed and then asked, “Do you think there is a man in the moon, Grandpa?”
“Well, I don’t know about that. What I can tell you is that the moon has always been a good friend to me. I call this friend Luna. And, I think Luna can be your friend too.”
“Luna” she said the word with some reverence, and she was delighted to know that the moon could be her friend. “Grandpa, does Luna ever talk to you?”
He gave a serious reply, “Oh, not in the usual way. But Luna does listen, and she sends a light out for our path. In fact, when I was in the great war, I talked to Luna right above the decks of our Navy cruiser right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”
“Oh Wow!” she exclaimed and again thought to herself what a super grandfather she had. She had seen the pictures of him in his sailor’s uniform and remembered the impressive photos with the big machine gun ports. She would have to remember to ask him to show her the photos again.
The Chevy station wagon neared the old man’s home.
“Grandpa look your house is right here and Luna followed us the whole way. She even got here a little ahead of us.”
Once they were in the driveway, he waited for her to get out of the car and then he took her small hand in his. The moon was indeed bright this evening. The breezes were warm.
“Grandpa, can we just look at Luna for a while?” she implored.
“Pumpkin let us do something else. OK?” he replied.
“What, what else should we do Grandpa? Should we talk to Luna?” she wanted to know.
“Nope, turn around and let Luna be at your back.” He answered.
“Grandpa, that is funny. You are the one who told me we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads.” And again, she felt quite mature.
“Look.” he said. “Look at the tops of the pines. Do you see it? The moon beams fall right along the tops of each pine. Look all around you and carefully. Can you see Luna shining on any other objects that we usually do not pay much attention to in the light of day? This is what it means to see things in a different light. It really is one of the best lessons Luna taught me.”
“I do see it, I do!” she replied. And then she told her grandfather the words he loved the most. “I love you so big.” When she said it, she held out her little arms wide to each side.
“I love you to the Moon and back” he told her.
“Grandpa, did you mean you love me to the Luna and back?” Then she smiled broadly, and the old man could barely hold all the love he had in his heart.