I just pulled into the hotel in Leavenworth, Washington after a long drive down to California to attend Ralph Kunkee’s memorial service at UC Davis. It was a 16-hour straight shot drive down, 33 hours in Davis, then 13 hours back up to Leavenworth for the night.
Ralph’s celebration of life was packed with so many wonderful moments. Hilarious stories by everyone and a few tears. One of the more poignant stories heard yesterday came from his doctor who was with him at the end of his life in hospice. On one of Ralph’s last nights alive, when he knew there was not much time left, there was a full moon outside his window. The doctor explained how he had moved Ralph’s bed close to the window so that he could better see the full moon.
It struck me how beautiful Ralph must have looked in the light of the full moon that night, alone in his room. I tried to imagine what would have gone through his mind that night, seeing that moon. How special it must have been.
When I left the Sacramento Valley at 4AM this morning it was dark and flat and as I drove north on Highway 5, one of the fullest, brightest-orange moons I had ever seen in my lifetime was setting in the west.
…and all I could think about was Ralph looking at that same moon two months ago, through his bedroom window.
Thirteen hours later I dropped down from the Cascade mountains into Leavenworth Washington and there again was the same huge, orange, full moon, except this time it was rising in my eastern view.
…and I thought: how is it that I am lucky enough to have two moons today when Ralph will have none?