What are you? They ask.
A pink flower, i declare.
And darkness dancing
into light waves of seashore.
Jaguar’s soft skin, and heartbeat.
My cat passed away on March 28th, and on April 5th her ashes were returned to me in a small wooden urn engraved with unfurling flowers. When the man from the pet cremation company whose daughter’s name is Kimiko, close to but not Himiko, came to pick up my cat, I was told that her ashes would be returned sometime Monday through Friday, probably in the morning. Wednesday evening while still at work, I received a phone call from the man who, in his own words, was returning all the fur-babies back to their people. Albeit in ashes. Yes, I can be home later at night to receive my fur-baby’s ashes, I told him.
Cycling back to the house, I saw the bright and likely full moon, and thought to myself that it was just like Himichan to come back to me on a full moon. And she did. Back home I checked the internet and confirmed that yes indeed, it was a full moon night—and not just any full moon night either. It was the pink full moon!
My first name is written with the kanji 満 (michiru), but when it is combined with the kanji for moon月 like this 満月 it is read all together as “mangetsu” meaning, full moon. I have always loved the moon, particularly the full moon. The night before I was born, my mother heard Beethoven’s moonlight sonata playing even though the music was not actually playing anywhere. The first haiku in Japanese that I ever wrote describes the full moon whispering over the sea in spring.
Even so, I had never heard of the pink moon before! According to timeanddate.com, April’s full moon is called the “pink moon” due to the abundance of pink wildflowers blooming in spring! And it’s true, there are pink flowers blossoming everywhere. And I think about my fur-baby Himichan every time I see them.
When I was a little girl, I adamantly disliked the color pink for its association with girlishness. Therefore, strawberry ice cream was not my favorite flavor; and part of my decision to give up ballet for gymnastics was my distaste for pink tights and leotards. Very sensible, I know. But many years later as an adult, I reclaimed pink. The rebellion was over. On the contrary, embracing pink became the revolution; I like strawberry ice cream and I wear pink. The poem at the top of this page, written several years ago, is a womanifesto of sorts. I am pink—with edge. I am pinx.
That night, that night of the pink full moon, that night my Himichan’s ashes were returned to me. I cried. Bittersweet. Too much magic and much too beautiful. My heart flooded with gratitude and pink moonlight. I crave jaguar’s soft skin, and heartbeat.
I love you, Himichan, to the moon and back.