it was night.

and not just any night.

a special night.

that only comes once

a year.

the night where

we pretend to be the

thing we are not.


no, i’m not talking about

my everyday struggle.

i’m talking about

an organized collective

we call Halloween.


this particular

night i am with a small


her pink polyester gown

barely keeping her warm

in the night’s air.


before we head outside

a quick moment catches us


side by side.

looking into a mirror.

“you look so pretty.” i tell the princess.


she takes a step closer,


she takes a step back,

swooshing her dress.

her cheeks hold her grin.


i know.” she breathes.

jack-o-lanterns light the paths

while the kids’ bubbled excitement

swells large

as the night holds them.

the princess and i

walk hand in hand.

mine bare.

hers mitted.


“ooooh!” squeals the princess

pointing her hand into the sky.

“look! can’t you see it? the moon.

it is following me!”


“why is it following you?”

i ask.


the princess sighs

“i don’t know,

but every night.

the moon always finds me.”


i pause.

“maybe the moon

really likes you.” i say.


“yeah,” the princess puts her

mitted hand over her mouth, giggling,

“i think your right.”


she looks up at me.

pure delight written all over

her face.


that night, i call her “princess”.

and every time,

she responds,

“but that’s not my name!

you forgot!”


she laughs at my mistake.

while i can’t help longing for

this ‘knowing’

the young princess possesses

of her own self.


and we walk on,

the princess and i.

past orange lights and

smiling pumpkins.

she pauses and sees it all.


each pumpkin,

each strand of lights,

each costume,

she tells each thing of its


again we round a corner

and there it is.

bright and shiny and so mysteriously

hanging in the sky.

the moon.

it found the princess again.


the princess shrieks

with excitement to have been

found twice 

in one evening.


she takes a step closer,


she takes a step back,

as she declares,


“it is so beau-tee-ful!”


even this night.

when we put a costume

on her,

call her a different


tell her she is something


the young girl knows.


she knows who she is.

she sees herself. 

her own beauty

is no stranger to her.


who can say this little girl

is proud?



she is not.


she just knows.


because she so clearly sees


she has the proper chance to

experience the world around her.


and so for us.

may the beauty we carry

since the very beginning of time,

may it be no stranger to us.

may we begin to see ourselves so that

we can begin to experience all that surrounds us.


Natalie is currently living, biking & writing in Minneapolis. Visit her current blog here if you like. Go ahead and leave her a note if it feels right. She loves notes.