La Luna

I awake in the middle of the night to the light shining through the window.  The pitch black sky of deepest dark provides the perfect backdrop, showcasing a brilliant full moon.  Suspended, round, luminous, the heavy moon of white light, hangs weightless in the moments between dusk and dawn.  The song, Moon River, comes to mind.  The beautiful lyrics lull me back to sleep.

Here is a piece that I wrote awhile ago for a competition; it didn’t win.  It was a piece that just seemed to flow from the letters on the keyboard.  I hope that you enjoy it! 

“Moon River, wider than a mile,” the lulling lyrics creeping into the silent spaces between air. It was these lyrics that the woman heard first, before she saw the light.  The full moon, suspended in a blackened, starlit sky, bright beams casting wide swathes of luminescence and sparkle onto the earth below, illuminating the dimmed room, bespoke to an object of beauty, tucked safely on a shelf many years ago, once upon a time.  This object of beauty, empty, now long forgotten, left over, from a time long ago, so far away.  It was the brilliance of the moon’s light, cast through the window that caught the woman’s attention and cast a spell over her thoughts. La Luna.

The shimmering rays of moonlight, like an enchantress, spotlighting upon an object once so carefully placed upon a shelf, by this same woman. The woman gently lifted the moon shell from the shelf, Lunatia lewisii, a species of large sea-snail, found on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  Fingers slipping along the smooth, pale brown surface, tips following the rounding whorl, a circular path leading to a deeper, secret hideaway, home.  Once upon a time, a child, thrilled at the wonderings, the possibilities allowed by imagination, of having one’s own protective hide away to pull oneself into, tucked in, safe, rocked to sleep by the tides and the moon’s lullaby.  Magical, the moon and the shell possessed a quiet power that captivated and mesmerized the woman. La Luna. Remember. The moon shone down and smiled.

The woman recalls the fairy tale summers of her youth; the times spent exploring the western shores of Vancouver Island, the sparkling sand, warm and soft upon the soles of her feet.  The ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean, powerful, rocking, pushing and pulling her in to its depths and depositing her back to the safety of the sandy shore.  The gravitational powers of the moon, coaxing the tides to bring bountiful treasure to delight the child.   The moon shell was a gift, rolled on a wave, to settle at the feet of one so young. La Luna.

The woman thought it strange that as we are pulled closer to the moon, we resist the pull, attempting to fix ourselves firmly onto the earth.  Not yet, are the whispered words. The moon shell cradled gently in the woman’s hands, mesmerizing her thoughts.  Memories. The moon shone down and smiled.

This was a glorious world where nature’s beauty was free to explore through wonder and by innocent touch.  There was a darker side to nature and the child would learn to respect the pull of the tides and discover that the beautiful shell housed an elusive creature, a predator, feeding on mollusks. One so beautiful, yet so monstrous. The child learned to recognize the clues of the moon snail’s elusive presence, from the rubbery sand collars, to the perfectly round holes drilled by the radula tongue, visible on a shell’s surface.  The child coveted these drilled shells, beautifully, tragically, flawed, as she carefully collected and strung them together with string or kelp, forming mermaid necklaces to adorn her neck.  A memory of two innocent children sitting in an abandoned rowboat, beached upon the sand.  Oh, the places they sailed and the treasures they unearthed. Two drifters, off to see the world.  The children fell under the spell of the moon, their laughter echoing forth.  La Luna. The moon shone down and smiled.

Time would alter these two children.  Navigating their way through days of heartbreak and joy, their lives were lived and lessons learned.  Pushed and pulled by the moon’s powerful gravitational tug, they would briefly lose their way, falling off course, only to be set back upon a solid shore, for they were under the spell of the moon.  This spell, mixed with the raging power of a centrifugal force, a force with the power to disrupt the tenuous balance between chaos and calm. The power of the moon’s force and the motion of the seas pushed and pulled, rocking the children safely back to the shore, the place they knew as home.  It began as a journey of hope and promise.   It will end in peace, understanding, and forgiveness.  Hold on to the memories. La Luna.  The moon shone down and smiled.

Precious days, bittersweet moments in time, opportunities to build upon their dreams, all chances or pre determined destinies bequeathed from a universe’s musings or plan?  Yet, the woman knew that dreams are elusive, too.  “Dream maker, heart breaker.”  Over time, the magic fades. The moon snail’s shell, securely cupped within the woman’s hands, held a secret.  Listen.  The woman raised the moon shell to her ear and heard the sounds of the sea, the roar of the waves far, far away, the gentle break of their passion, as they silenced, tousled gently upon the sand.  We’re after the same rainbow’s end.  La Luna.  The moon shone down and smiled.

Perhaps, there is a heavenly mixture conjured by a universal hand. A force more powerful than the free will of men, a ribbon of life that twirls and spins from each of us, connecting us through blood lines, friendships, and circumstance.  Pushed and pulled together, torn apart within fleeting slices of time.   We are rocked, pushed, and pulled by the tides of the moon, tossed about, in many directions, until we come to rest gently upon the shore. We travel the lands, until finally returning to our shelter, our home. In the quiet of the night, as the moonbeams shine down, we are rocked to dreams and sleep. La Luna. The moon shone down and smiled.

For it is about wonder.  The wonder begins when a child’s sweet touch lifts a found shell from the damp ocean floor, when the moonbeams that brighten the blackest of nights, shine down upon us, and when the lullabies of love, sing for us.  We forget. It is about love.  As the shell connects to the sea, a life connects to another, and so it goes, an age-old story, throughout time.  Open your hearts, universal souls.  We are more alike than different. Find your way back home. La Luna. The moon shone down and smiled.


[1] Moon River~ composed by- Henry Mancini

Lyrics Written by- Johnny Mercer

Published by

Anna Watson

~ write like a painter

10 thoughts on “La Luna”

    1. Thank you, Luanne. It was “perfect” timing, last night’s full moon and the written piece just sitting waiting for a “life” on the page. lol

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, anneli! Can one still find sea snail tracks and abandoned shells on the island beaches? As children, my sister and I spent hours of vacation time searching for the egg sacs and shells. An abandoned red row boat marooned on the sand was our “ship” and we pretended to sail all over the world. We would hike up the hill to CFB Comox and watch the jets take off and land. It was a glorious time!

      1. That’s comforting to know! I must return and spend some time revisiting the setting. The boat appeared “ancient” then so I imagine it fell to pieces with the passage of time and little bodies. There is a pic of the red boat on my blog. Such a beautiful spot!

    1. Thank you reading the short story and commenting, Andrea! It was one of those moments when the story seed shaped itself, the words flowed and it all began with a memory and a sea snail shell.

  1. I’m reading this late at night … I can’t imagine a more perfect time to do so. Your writing invokes such a magical mood. X

    1. Thank you, Jacqueline and may I add- your blog invokes a magical space for all that comforts and nurtures! The photographs are lovely, the mix of vintage pieces with whimsical “new” add ins. You are an artist at creating a beautiful “mood.”
      PS~ Sleep tight!

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