With the Moon

Once, I drove alone from the Bay Area to the Jacinto Mountains. I was meeting friends but not until the following day. I left too late and the traffic between the Bay Area and LA stretched on forever. Google maps kept adding hour after hour to my ETA. I was stressed, at the end of a long week at the office, and because I was headed to a place I'd never been. Day turned into a shimmery evening, glowing red with the setting sun and brake lights. Siri directed me on and off the highways, through unfamiliar curving roads, to avoid traffic. By the time I finally cleared the city, and was heading east across the valley it was pitch black night. By 2am I found myself completely alone, the only car, going up a very steep road, rising over 5,000 feet straight out of the valley. The moon was out, and once in awhile I would get a view revealing shear drop offs to the valley floor. My family was asleep. No one would know if I reached my destination. No one seemed to be awake on the mountain either. I became overwhelmed. But in that moment a song came on the radio, a voice singing "it's just you, me, and the moon". The all-consuming work worries started to fade away. It was just me, the mountain, and the moon. And that was enough. This photo is from yesterday. I spent some time alone on Mount Diablo with the moon, remembering the Jacinto Mountains and hoping for many more nights just like it.

PlacesStephanie PennComment