#SOLC17: Moon stories

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

moon over bombay.jpg

On Monday, Alan Wright wrote about moon moments and memories.  I’ve been thinking about the moon ever since, and a moon memory of my own.

I must have been four or five, because I was still living with my grandparents and this memory is anchored in their house.  The monsoons had just come to an end;  after a month of  unrelenting rain, even the air felt sodden and drenched.  But the moon was full, and my aunt I were at a window together taking in the  silvery landscape –  wet leaves and  pathways reflecting  moonlight.  I must have been standing on the low wall surrounding the veranda, because I am cheek to cheek with my aunt in this memory, cocooned within the warm embrace of her arms.

We talk about the rains, the trees and the moon…and the shadows on the moon.  I was the kind of child who wrapped herself in stories – and I wanted to know the story of these shadows.  I was also the kind of child who asked a lot of questions, and this is the story I remember – each part the answer to a question, like so many beads on a Rosary:
….there was once a rabbit, a lonely rabbit who was so very sad…
…for days and days, weeks and weeks, years and years, this rabbit had longed for a friend…
…at last, rabbit met fox – handsome, clever fox…
…fox told the best stories, he made rabbit roar with laughter and cry rivers of tears…
…fox showed rabbit hills and vales, new places to roam and live..
…every day, rabbit waited for fox until he would suddenly appear under the banyan tree by the waterfall…
…everyday, rabbit would bid goodbye to fox under the banyan tree by the waterfall…
…one day, rabbit waited and waited, but there was no fox…
…day after day, week after week, month after month, rabbit waited..
…then one day, rabbit saw monkey watching him from the banyan tree…
…”Are you waiting for fox?” monkey asked with a smile…”for, I know where he went”…
…rabbit begged monkey to tell her where, where did fox go? she wanted to know…
…”That way” said monkey, pointing over the water fall…”fox jumped right over the waterfall”…
…rabbit looked at the waterfall – it was wide and the other side looked very far away…
…rabbit was frightened, but fox was on the other side…
…so rabbit jumped…
…she put her heart and soul into that jump…
…she jumped so high that she soared into the sky – all the way to the moon…
…and there she still waits for fox…
 I loved that story. I told it to myself time after time, especially when the moon was full and bright and clear – when I could see the shadows of rabbit, still waiting patiently for fox.
When my children were young, I passed the story along to them.  They had ideas and questions of their own, as children are wont to do, which led to new versions and diversions of their own.
And now that  I am much older than my aunt was at the time she invented this story, I wonder about the storyteller, too.   Rabbit’s story is full of  longing and sorrow, faith and hope.  What was in my aunt’s heart at that particular time in her life, I now wonder, as she pieced this story, bit by bit, in answer to each  childish question that was itself in search of a story to own?
The stories we love, the stories we tell, the stories we remember…the stories we are.
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13 thoughts on “#SOLC17: Moon stories

  1. Captivating slice. The story within a story, bookmarked with your thoughts, nudges the mind of a reader to wonder and think of their own stories.

  2. I love this sentence – “I am cheek to cheek with my aunt in this memory, cocooned within the warm embrace of her arms” – and so much more of this story that continues in your family.

  3. This is a true story, the kind we find in myths, the kind we tell over and over, searching for the meaning of our lives. Thanks for sharing a deep part of yourself today. You have a kind soul.

  4. What a marvelous memory, Tara. I’m so glad you shared with us, and that you wrote it down for yourself too (if you haven’t before). I do love moon stories, will share with the grand-girls!

  5. How fortunate you were to have had a storyteller in your life. My life was steeped in reality, and I believe that affected me (still does) for a long, long time and stunted my ability to dream. Fortunately, that’s no longer true. You, however, were encouraged to dream and wonder.

  6. Tara, this is a wonderful slice that had me making a few inferences along the way. I love the storytelling aspect and the fond memories of time by the moon. Beautifully crafted!

  7. How lucky for you to have an aunt that could weave such a haunting story of longing, hope, joy, and loss. I could see a book of “Stories MY Aunt Told Me”.

  8. Loved your moon memory Tara and where it first took you and then took me as a reader. The link between the moon and your storytelling Aunt is so deeply ingrained in your memory. It has spilled out so beautifully here.

  9. Gorgeous… I held onto every word. This line warms my heart, “I am cheek to cheek with my aunt in this memory, cocooned within the warm embrace of her arms.” So sweet. Your ending is powerful, “The stories we love, the stories we tell, the stories we remember…the stories we are.”

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