Originally a native of Chicago’s south side, Judi Jaworowski has made her home in Minnesota since 1975. She lives with her dog Doc, a springer/basset mix that resembles left over parts from a Disney movie. He makes her laugh as she tries to juggle grad school and menopause simultaneously. No stranger to shame, she does experience freedom now and then.




There it hung, mesmerizing, big as life in the deep, blue, muggy Mississippi sky.  Truth was this was Minnesota. But I would have sworn I was in the deepest south. The air so moist and heavy, if I looked real hard I could almost see the steam comin’ off the roof tops. And starin’ through the tropical mist I saw that lunar wonder in all its’ radiant splendor, whole and without flaw against an infinite blue-black canvas.

Was it already 365 days since this same heat, this same light had seduced me? Beckoned and enticed me to give myself without hesitation to the cooling waters of a northern Minnesota lake? Another July…365 days ago under this same moon, I had abandoned myself to wonder, water, night frogs.  Campfire had smoke-dried my hair to a perfect woody scent.

In this reminiscent moment, like one old friend reminding me of another, I realized this was the same la bella luna that had left me and three friends speechless, breathless in Roosevelt National Forest in 1982. That night, she softly cast shadows against the rocks in front of us, as we sat tightly knit by conversation and held spellbound by warm, dancing, campfire flames. Behind us, just on the other side of the mountains, she rose. Her majestic rising still cloaked in mystery. She lured us, leaving us powerless to do anything except leave the security of our camp behind and track her rapid ascent. We climbed, faster and higher in the silent July night, until at last, there, she revealed herself effulgent, and we, without words or breath, worshipped her maker.

For a moment I come back to the sweltering present, only to slip away once more to the summer of ’84. Then, in a moment of wild insanity, or divine guidance, to this day I’m not sure which, I threw every dirty garment I owned into a suitcase and with an Iowa map in hand and puppy in tow, set out from the land of 10,000 lakes for “purple mountained majesties.” This same July lantern escorted me from Minneapolis to Des Moines to Lincoln. We parted company at dawn.

Now, July 11, 1995, as I drive home under her watchful care, I realize she’s much more than a full moon. Separate and apart from the others, she is July’s moon. We share a special bond. Was it she that inspired me to life in the gentle waters of my mother’s womb on a sultry July night in 1956? Who can say? I only know she alters me, an April babe turned July woman. She calls me to life. I am her captive. I am a lunatic…

story by judi jaworowski, all rights reserved