The first time I heard the song Harvest Moon by Neil Young was around 2016. That surprises me, because the song came out in 1992 and I love Neil Young. How did this one pass me by? Of all his songs, this one is now my favorite. But every time I hear it, it hits me in the gut.
The first time I heard it, I was in a bar with a couple friends. I hadn’t been in the Seattle area for very long, and I was feeling very much like I didn’t fit in out here and never would. I was still grieving the abrupt and unexpected death of my boyfriend, and I felt extremely fragile.
On top of all that, this was a crowded venue with a live band. I only knew my two friends, but they knew pretty much everyone. I always feel marginalized in crowds, but this situation seemed to magnify those feelings.
And then the band started playing Harvest Moon, and like magic, everyone paired off and started to dance. Everyone, that is, except me and three guys across the room who weren’t looking at me at all. It was such a romantic moment. You could just feel the love. And I was all alone.
I missed my late boyfriend so much that it was a physical ache in my very core. And I felt as though I would feel this bad for the rest of my life. I had no idea how I’d survive that.
“Because I’m still in love with you, I want to see you dance again…”
I burst into tears. I retreated to the bathroom. And then I had to leave. I cried all the way home.
Now, whenever I hear Harvest Moon, I remember that night. But fortunately things have changed for me. I did find love once more. I am no longer lonely. I can’t believe that I get to be happy again. I look forward to dancing with my husband to that song someday, should the situation present itself.
But I’ll probably still have a tiny tear in my eye, even as I smile and thank my lucky stars. Music can sure evoke deep and complex emotions, can’t it?