The part of nature that still baffles me is a full moon at dusk. During the Fall last year and in Spring this year, this seems to be a normal sighting in the sky as I am walking to the tube station or walking home.
Coming from an island, the moon and moonlight are the symbols of romance, peace and tranquility. As a songwriter, the moon and moonlight feature prominently in my songs of nostalgia, romance, love and peaceful surroundings.
I grew up on a small island in the Milne Bay Province and one amongst Papua New Guinea’s six hundred islands. We did not have television. My family owned their first ever radio in the mid-60s. Anyway, the moon and moonlight like the the sun, the ocean, the breezes, the tides etc are a big deal on the islands ever since I can remember. What I’m trying to say is that these things of nature were so influential in a girl’s life growing up so far from the bright lights of towns and cities.
One of my favourite poems that feature the moon is “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear. My Grade Six teacher set my class a homework assignment: to learn a poem and recite it in class. I memorised Lear’s poem. I so enjoyed this assignment. The part that has moon in it is the third and last verse when the Owl and the Pussycat decided to get married and went in search for a ring which they found with a Pig in the woods.
“Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring? ‘Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
The words of the poem and the lilting rhythm has remained with me ever since.