The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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This is Jack's family celebrating the Mid-Autumn festival when he was 12-years-old.

With a single match, 12-year-old Jack and his friends lights the handmade lanterns hanging on metal poles. Some lanterns warmly glow red, some glow green, some glow blue, other glow pink against the twilight sky. Each lantern works to illuminate the small farming community to celebrate the plentiful harvest and the Mid-Autumn Festival. After lighting all the lanterns, Jack and his friends sat in the opening in the center village appreciating the pretty colors.

Before long, parents call their kids into the house, including Jack’s parent. Jack’s parents usher him and his three siblings into their house. Immediately, each member of Jack’s family kneels onto the bare concrete floor before the 4-foot-tall Buddha statue, putting his/her palms together, and close his/her eyes for a prayer. Each member murmur thanks for the harvest and prays for more good fortune in the future. “Thank you for the harvest. I hope to spend less time gathering the crops next, but have my family earn more money from the crops”, Jack whispers.

After the prayer Jack’s mother ushers the family in to the kitchen to prepare for dinner. Most of the food has already been cooked, but the most important food, the mooncakes, still needs to be made.

Jack’s mother took a large bowl of about 6 inches in diameter. Jack and his siblings took turns dumping sugar and lard into the bowl while Jack’s mother vigorously blends the ingredients. Once the mixture is thoroughly mixed, Jack’s mother creates rectangular prisms blobs with the mixture. She pulls out a jar ceramic white jar filled with red bean paste. She cuts open each blob, fills the center with green paste, and reseal the blob with extra mixture. Jack and his sibling cover each blob with a thin layer of flour after bean paste was put inside them. After 24 blobs had been covered in flour, Jack’s mother says, “That’s enough. Let’s start baking these.” She throws the blobs into the oven to become delicious golden mooncakes.

While Jack’s mother, siblings and Jack were making moon cakes. Jack’s father takes the dining table and the food outside. Under the full moon and the beautiful lanterns, Jack’s family eats happily.

Mid Autumn Festival

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