An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, September 14, 2008

La Bella Luna

Lisa has a wonderful post over at Are We There Yet announcing the next Harvest Moon September 15th (go visit...she has some fun trivia about the moon). Coincidentally, last night I took our little one (already in his pj's) outside to look at the full moon through the trees in our backyard. So in honor of the Harvest Moon, in celebration of the fact that autumn is just around the corner, and in reverence for the moon's majesty here is a post from the past.

I admit that I have a quirky trait: I love looking at the moon. On a clear night, with no clouds, there have been many times I have dragged my family to a window (and, yes, even outside in their pj's) to look at the beautiful moon. "La bella luna" , in Italian.

Last night, when the full moon was hanging low and heavy right over our house, I found myself again calling to my family to come and see. I enthusiastically pointed out how serene it made everything look. I challenged everyone to think of as many songs as they could that mention the moon. I even made up this corny poem: "The man in the moon smiled as he looked down on the mother and child."

Then I noticed everyone looking at me as if I were, well, loony (from the root word "luna"; lunatic also comes from "luna"), and realized that I was turning into my mom...and my Nonna.

In the early nineties, when we were vacationing in Florida with my parents and my Nonna, we were told that the space shuttle launch from Cape Canaveral could be viewed from our second story balcony. The fact that it would take place at 3 a.m. didn't stop us because we knew that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially for Nonna who was visiting from Italy.

At 3 a.m. we gathered on the balcony, listening to the shuttle countdown on the radio and watching the horizon. When the shuttle launched, and we could follow the shuttle's ascent, my Mom and Nonna couldn't contain their enthusiasm:

Mom: OH! Lord bless them. Bless them. Keep them safe!! At 3 a.m. she shouted this 550 times from our balcony.
Nonna: Maria Santissima! Cielo santo! Che bello! Dio mio! Again, it was 3 a.m., and this was also shouted repeatedly.

With the mixture of English and Italian being hurled towards the heavens, the rest of us cringed (did I mention that it was 3 a.m.?).

So, last night as I was extolling the virtues of "la bella luna", the reality that I was becoming just like my Mom and Nonna hit me. Yikes!

Cielo Santo! Maria Santissma!
I'm not sure if I should be terrified or not. (wink! wink!)


Kathryn said...

I don't think you should be terrified, they sound wonderful! I'll be watching the moon like a looney too!

Lisa said...

LOL! No, not at all ~ you should be delighted! I love the passion of the Italian people that bursts out like that in moments of happiness - or wonder - or worry... Happy Harvest Moon, Bia!