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Under A Cheshire Cat Moon.

The magic of Northampton started last night with a cheshire cat moon. No, it actually started with a goof-up. My goof-up. On Friday night, our town rang in the holiday season with a musical parade and the symbolic lighting of Main Street’s lights. There was a tuba, a trombone, a saxophone, maybe more. It was very “Gilmore Girls” esque. The problem is that this happened on Friday night and I was certain it was to take place on Saturday night and although we were tired, we all bundled up and hit the streets of Northampton at 5:30 on the dot to discover…no parade. Finally I swallowed my pride and checked my Facebook app on my phone to look up the City of Northampton’s fan page and see that we had missed it by 24 hours. (How did we find out info before Facebook apps on iPhones. Did we have to ask people on the streets??)

And then there was the beautiful Cheshire cat moon. Scarlet has gotten very into Alice in Wonderland lately. It started with an employee at Starbucks dressed like Alice on Halloween and it has spiraled since. So as we walked the streets on this non-parade, Northampton night, Scarlet looked up, sighed and said, “The moon looks like that cat’s smile.” We were a bit dumbfounded. “The Cheshire cat, you mean?” And she agreed. And we were so struck by the poetry of the moment. It seems a thought I’ve thought before, but didn’t discover it until adulthood. The slivered moon looks like the Cheshire cat’s grin. 
Oh, to be three.
As we walked through town, we stumbled on all kinds of magic. A wedding just spilling out from a church into the dark streets. Strobes were set up for the posed photographs, and I’m sure they were quite beautiful. A dark evening in November for a wedding. Who would have thought? And then we passed by a clothing store that was doing live models as mannequins in the window displays. For four hours! And so we held Scarlet up to the window and the first model broke character and grinned at her. The second model went so far as to grin and wave at her. In the background, a street performer played Christmas music on his saxophone. I felt like I was in a Christmas movie. In NYC. With magic. That whimsical holiday magic.
And then today I woke up without the magical feeling. I was very sensitive today and that is not in a good way. It just means everything is too loud and too bright and my gums are sensitive and my eyes are sensitive to light and I take everything the wrong way and I forget that I’m a strong wife, mother, writer and photographer. Instead I’m pretty much dirt caked onto the bottom of a shoe. With the logic that I’m not really caked-on dirt but my heart cannot believe it. So I suffer. 
And it’s stupid.
And I thought that to cheer me up, I’ll look at feel-good photos of the kids and friends. And then I thought I should share them here too. ‘Cause they’re on my hard drive and they’re in my photo albums and they’re in my mind and my heart.

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They all get me, but that last one…really gets me.

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