A short story from: Coastal Maine in Words and Art: Gallery Fukurou’s Reflections by Maine Writers, 2019.
© Eola Ball, 2019
Moonstruck, photographic art by Ramona du Houx
The silent sailboat hits the dock with a thud. I run down to the dock to catch the boat. I welcome Jim. He is handsome and a grown man—twenty years old. He comes during the day to take my brother, sister and me paddling in his canoe. Tonight is different.
My eight-year-old self is full of romance and full-moonery anticipation. Jim is here to take my older sister on a moonlit cruise. She is a near grownup herself. After all, she is sixteen years old. This is a real date!
Jane comes out of the camp in a pretty dress with a full skirt. Weird . . . at the island we always go out in the boat in our bathing suits or shorts. She is serious about this! She even has shoes on. I can feel her timidity and my eagerness. Jim holds her hand, and my brother and I hold the boat steady as she steps from the dock to the deck and settles onto a seat. We push the boat and the lovers out into the lake. We wave goodbye as if we won’t see them for weeks. The sail goes up just as the moon peeks over the trees on the far shore toward the east.
We run to the back of the island as the sailboat glides by. We listen carefully and giggle from the bushes. The small sailboat pulls away from the island. As the sky darkens, the moon changes from orange, yellow, pinky to pure white. We strain our eyes to see better, but the boat is moving too far away to make out much more than the sail.
Their bodies are now black shadows cast by the bright moonlight. The whole lake lights up with a summer warmth and dancing, shimmering sparkles on the water. Will he kiss her? A lone loon answers: Looooooo! Looooooo! I have seen many full moons on the lake, but this one . . . How do I say it? This one . . . is . . . romantic!
The mosquitoes are finding it a romantic night also. They love me. We run inside to play a game of rummy by the kerosene lantern. We fight over the rules as always. We have a snack. We get ready for bed.
Are they never coming back? Where are they? I must keep myself awake so I can see the goodnight kiss illuminated by the glow of the moon. Slowly, I drift. Romantic kisses. “I love you.” More romantic kisses. Sleep takes my moonlit dreams to another place and time.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Coastal Maine in Words and Art: Gallery Fukurou’s Reflections by Maine Writers, 2019 was published after a contest for writers to create stories to accompany art photography that depicted Rockland and the coast in its myriad situations, moods and emotions. This story was published in the book along with 27 others.
An overwhelming 88 stories were submitted for the contest. In the end seventeen writers were chosen. Their stories are told with depth, insight, candor, irony, wit and humor. Anyone who has every visited Maine’s coast will be able to relate to them. They’ve put humankind’s instinctive emotional connection with the sea into words.
A gallery exhibit/booksigning was held at Gallery Fukurou in September 2019. The contest was held by Polar Bear and Company, of the Solon Center for Research and Publishing.
The Maine Humanities Council provided a grant for our project that enabled the Solon Center to donate books to libraries across Maine. MHC is a statewide non-profit organization that uses the humanities, “as a tool for positive change in Maine communities.”
Please ask your local bookstore to order it in for you or, if need be, purchase it HERE. All photographic art is available through Gallery Fukurou at info(at)soloncenter.org.