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The View from Puncheon Creek: REGARDING THE MOON

To a man of low curiosity the moon is little more than a rock caught and held by some force in the heavens.

Men of science get excited by the facts about the moon. I on the other hand enjoy the enchantment of bathing in the mysterious light of the moon.

Man has held the moon in awe for as long as his time on this earth. He has worshiped it as Devine and feared it as evil.  Hid from it in caves when it eclipsed the sun bringing darkness to the day. Marveled at its power to move the oceans creating the tides. 

My favorite time to be outside is when the moon is full as crisp winds sing high on the hillsides, when the moon plays with incoming clouds before the rain comes in the night. There is something mysterious and magical about the way the moon plays with light and shadows upon the clouds. It steers primordial yearnings in us as it did our cave dwelling ancestors from long ago. There is a mystery about moonlight, a feeling that one is far away in space and time. I often wonder what our primitive ancestors thought when the moon was full and the night was light. I suspect that they were much as we are in their thoughts. Did they come out of their caves or climb down from their trees or did they just take it in stride. We can only guess as they left no written record but we can deduce a few things from the drawings they left on their cave walls. 

“"We must strive to be like the moon." An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often to people who walked past his house on their way to the river to fetch water, to hunt, to tap palm wine; and to their farms. I remember asking my grandmother what the old man meant. She explained that the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others. She said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But she said, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.”

? Ishmael Beah 



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