EMBRACE THE MOON
I sat on the sand and waited for him. It was dark early morning. The moon sat on the horizon and began its descent.
By the shore and secluded beach, they danced around the fires near the line of coconut trees that was behind me.
The moon was large as it dipped into the black ocean. It seemed that he would come. I left everything behind to wait: the bonfire dances, the warmth of the songs and grandmother’s hum when she prepared the stew.
The moon beckoned me, and asked why I was so far. I told her I was waiting. “Swim to me and find him here,” she said. I stood and walked into the cool water. The soft waves lapped against my ankles. The light foam rippled between my toes. I entered slowly. I didn’t look back but could feel the heat of the rising bon fires against my bare back as I dropped my robe into the sand. The coolness of the water wasn’t strong until it reached my belly. I gasped.
The darkness of the salt ocean embraced me. I dove in completely and found comfort in its coolness. I hesitated. “You won’t find the truth on the shore,” the moon said. “You’ll find it here.” And so I swam in backstrokes to her on the horizon. Her largness covered the ocean. The yellow light illuminated my floating nakedness. Her warmth in contrast to the cool water. Soon, I was so close that all that was left in the sky was the moon. “Hug me,” she said. I stretched my arms around her swollen body. “Yes, is the answer,” she whispered in my ear, though there was no one else around to hear us.
I swam back knowing the truth. The answer was already in myself. When I returned to shore I waited no longer, I put on my robe and headed to the warm bon fire. I danced new dances no one had ever dreamt of dancing before and taught the others this new joy. We still danced when the sky became purple and light rose through the mountains. He arrived on the shore.
I saw him in the distance as I still danced and wondered if the sun would call to him as the moon did I. Did they–the sun and moon– meet briefly right after he came out of his slumber and as she was going to bed? But, the sun did not call him.
He turned to the bon-fires that were dying from the lack of fuel. When he saw me he walked over the shells that had been pushed near the end of the sand by the evening tide.
“Why were you not waiting?” He asked. I embraced the moon last night, but he did not need to know. I asked, “what joy is there in waiting?”
Copyright 1999, Joanna Milanes