Today is September 13th on the Chinese calendar and is called the “Latter Moon” in my culture, in relation to the Harvest Moon seen on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival, a night to celebrate the successful harvest of later crops. We have a superstition that says it is unlucky to see the Harvest Moon but miss the Latter Moon in the same year.
So I knew it was going to be an unlucky day today when I tuned in to the weather channel this morning. The forecast said it would be cloudy all day in my town, with practically no chance of being able to see the Latter Moon… I was so bumbed out!
The day got worse, as I received a text from one of the attendees of the event I chose to skip at last moment a few weeks ago. Without asking me why I did not go, she told me she made up an excuse for me to tell the others – that I suddenly got so very ill I just could not be with them. Well, I suppose she was right, in a way, because there is absolutely no allowance for “failure” at gatherings with these people and it disgusts me every time they come up with “excuses for me” to cover up my “failures”… I was made sick to my stomach once again!
I did not want to go straight home feeling like this. So I took a little detour and stopped by a sweets store, and look what I found!
The Latter Moon display: the bunnies at the bottom are having a moon-viewing party while kneading sticky rice to make rice cakes
I entered the store just before the last call, so there was only one other customer, an old lady with a music score spread in front of her. We were seated at opposite sides of the display, but as I started to take photos of it with the store’s permission, she suddenly came up to me and thanked me because she had been sitting there wanting to take photos herself but was too shy to ask if she could… I was so glad to be at her service!
After our little photo session, we sat together and had a lovely chat. She was on her way to a weekly gathering with an amateur choir team she has belonged to for over forty years (wow!). She told me it gives her great joy when she sings well, and just enough pressure and stress when she does not. And she said she would not feel guilty or ashamed when she chooses not to show up at a gathering, even if it is for reasons like “it’s raining and I don’t wanna get wet” and “I’m just not in the mood to sing today,” because it is allowed – by the team, and by herself… I was all cheered up by her words!
So maybe the forecast suggested I would have an unlucky day.
And maybe I believed it, not thinking I could turn it around.
But maybe the wheel of fortune keeps turning, even when I have given up on it.
Maybe the moment I take a little detour and pull back a step away from it is the moment I see it turning a lot faster than I think it is.
As I approach the end of the day, I knew I had a very lucky day today. I got to see the Latter Moon. And I had an encounter that allowed me to think about what I really wish to get out of the gatherings I now despise to attend, and what I need to do to make the attendees see why I am not getting them… I am still scared to confront them, but with a little luck, I think I am going to be able to turn it all around.
And so the wheel of fortune turns.