On a Full Moon Beach

Ibrahim Waheed “Kalaavehi”

On a Full Moon Beach

"On a Full Moon Beach"

“What have I achieved in life? Nothing! What have I done wrong?” Was it a scream or a whisper? A plaintive plea for understanding or a rebellious cry of defiance? Did it matter to the rest of the unheeding universe?

Listless nuggets of coral, stripped off the living reef just out of reach where the surf crashed and boomed, lay bleached, rounded and dead where the final remnants of once-courageous waves melted in final surrender into the land. Some still had a pristine sparkle on them. Some had inclusions of red or amber, or even parts of lavender-lined wormholes in them. Some had to give unwilling company to colored shards of glass. Some shifted away from dented metal cans in various stages of corrosion. And some crunched under the worn rubber soles of her faded old sneakers.

As midnight crept into the velvet of the tropical night, it had driven away even the most resolute night surfer, despite the alluring call of the full moon to the romantic and the soft at heart. Earth’s glorious natural satellite clung to her diamantine shawl and took up her queenly position in the middle of the willing sky and spread her golden syrup of honey over the deep waters of the swelling ocean, making the humble nuggets of coral sparkle like precious gems. And they still crunched under her feet.

“Even nature is against me. Anything that is truly beautiful is pushed away from me. Where have I not heeded you, Mother Nature? I have spoken on your behalf at conferences. I have planted many a tree in your name. I have written pages in your honor. And yet you never put anything of even the remotest value within my reach.” What did she want? A rough diamond cast ashore against all laws on nature? A chunk of ambergris worth more than just a few dollars more?

The nuggets of coral heard her and wanted to weep silent salty tears that would ooze unseen into the rough sand of the beach. The clear tongues of salty water that lapped the beach tried to turn away from the golden moonlight. The ever-changing, undulating, oily-golden swells that reared up from the ocean wanted to turn away from creating citrine-tinted droplets and lemon-quartz spray on the reef. The moon wanted to weep golden tears of distress. And they failed in the face of the greater, more expansive, liberal beauty of that heady tropical night. And all they heard again was a pair of cement-worn sneakers crunch unfeelingly on the delicate nuggets of coral.

“Even you, beautiful moon! The Americans get to go and touch you, kiss you, caress you! All I get is the envy of reaching out to you and feeling the sheer futility of reaching out into the thin air with my impotent arms. And you sit there, smiling at my incompetence in derision!” The moon smiled down at her in sympathy. And it mattered to the moon. Just like it mattered to each little nugget of coral that lay at her feet.

“How many people in this world right now would want to trade places with you? To be able to stand there in a comfortable T-shirt, well-worn jeans and sneakers and gaze upon, breathe in, and even become part of the beauty of this wonderful night? I look down on you and see a healthy woman, her face bathed in gold, looking up at me with a scowl. Think about how good I would feel if you had a radiant smile on your face? Wouldn’t that be like looking at like? As for me being within reach….. I am within reach. I am right here, in front of you! I am yours….. your moon for the night. All you have to do it reach out!” As if someone had whispered an unknown song in her ear, she heard the moon. And her sneakers stopped…..

She looked up the sky, the scowl erased from her forehead. Four hundred thousand kilometers did not matter anymore as the moon and the woman looked upon each other and smiled, sharing a wonderful night, a miraculous starry sky, a honey-gold ocean, sparkling surf, a few golden waves, and a few nuggets of coral that lay sparkling on a beach that listened, cared and somehow mattered to the universe after all. And a cooling breeze passed by, singing a song of glory….

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  • shifa  On January 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    A full moon reminds me of so many good memories…….. a very touching story with beautiful descriptions. May Allah bless you ……Thank you for sharing the stories …….

  • shifa  On January 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

    so touching i read this story again and again … it brought tears to my eyes ,you are a wonderful writer. hats off to you and your work, the picture is so much related to the story.

    • ldive  On January 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you so much. In my opinion, the best time for a good moon-viewing is at 9 o’clock in the evening…

    • ldive  On January 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Perhaps one of my stories can also bring a smile to your face?

      • ldive  On February 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

        There is a little country in the Middle East I call my spiritual home. It is called Lebanon. Lebanon is also home to one of my favorite singers – Fairouz. After I wrote this story, I suddenly remembered an old Fairouz number I used to share with my friends in Beirut… Nahna Wal Amar Jiran! and for some strange reason unknown to me , a feeling for which the English language has no word, I felt tears wet my eyes for a while.

        BTW, anyone who wants to find out more about the song, or simply listen to the Great Golden Voice of Fairouz, try this link:

  • mysterystar  On January 31, 2011 at 7:04 am

    From childhood I love the night-sky. I see a man face that I admire. Then I knew this tradition exist that ” Man in the moon”…enjoys drinking claret.Enjoy reading this little piece of work. With your permission please let me be allowed to use your stories with my students..May the divine light guide your thoughts to happiness……

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