It’s no great secret that I love the Moon. This blog is full of pictures I’ve taken (and stories I’ve told) about my fascination for that beautiful, big, natural satellite that dances around our planet in synchronous rotation.
I find it quite bewildering that as the Moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the Sun, and each rotates upon its own axis, the end result is a ballet of grace and beauty that sees the same side of the Moon always facing towards the Earth.
For me, this is a mesmerizing fascination that compels me to ‘look up’ as often as possible.
But what started this interest of mine, this enchantment, preoccupation, obsession, compulsion, attraction, intrigue, passion – this love affair I have with The Moon?
Answering that question isn’t so straightforward, however, recently I delivered a speech at Toastmasters that broaches this subject somewhat, and I’ve decided to share that speech. Enjoy.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
(Speech Title) I Will Never Forget
Madam Toastmaster, ladies and gentlemen. I will never forget the year I turned six. In many ways, it was a very sad year. Salty water constantly dripped from my chin, as I came to terms with my young life in a state of utter flux.
As the year began, so did my tears, as I cried myself to sleep each night. My parents had left my brothers and me with our Aunt and Uncle while they took a trip to Townsville to find us a new home.
I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I soon found out as we piled into a cabin on the Sunlander to take that tiring train trip from the Great South East to the hot and horrible north. It was the Easter long weekend and I believe cried the whole way.
But it wasn’t the trip that upset me. It was the food packed in our picnic hamper, and before you go thinking my mother couldn’t cook, she was an exceptional cook. No, what upset me was the chicken we had to eat. They were once my friends that ran around in the backyard. I was rather hungry by the time we arrived in Townsville.
With a new home and a new school and new friends, you’d think I’d have something to smile about and that may have been the case, but it wasn’t for long. Suddenly, it’s my birthday and once again, I’m crying. I was too young to understand that cake and cuddles and car rides with my nanna couldn’t happen when the distance she has to drive suddenly increases from less than 10 miles to more than 1,000.
I still miss riding around in her FJ Holden.
But from there the tears continued.
I whimpered when I split my chin open and needed six stitches to sew it back together. And I still sport the lump.
I blubbered when my mother got a job and my father fed us a bowl of mushy peas for dinner because we played up. We didn’t do that again.
And I howled on Christmas day when my brother broke my dolly, Vicki. He laughed and got into trouble and to this day he still refers to her as ‘bung eye’.
But of all the crying I did in the year I turned six, most of it was in September.
I was in the backyard playing red red rover with my brothers and the boys next door.
“Red Red Rover – Clare Come Over”, and, true to form, over I went.
Well most of me went over. My lower left leg didn’t and I moaned and groaned and howled and yowled non-stop for the next three days I was in the hospital while my leg was set and reset multiple times before my tibia was positioned correctly.
I cried when Mum came to visit, and I cried when she left. I cried when the nurses roust at me for crying. I cried over warm, lumpy powdered milk on my Weet-Bix.
Most of all though, I cried when the doctors touched my leg. But I did get some of my own back when I planted my teeth in one doctor’s forearm.
He was not impressed, but neither was I. What did he expect? I was only six years old and my tibia was broken. By the way, that’s the big bone in your lower leg – the one that’s hard the break. And yes, it still aches all these years later.
To be perfectly honest though, it’s only retrospectively that I recall all these tears because something else happened that year that allows all these events to pale into insignificance.
Something I will never forget.
I remember it was a mild winter’s day in July of that year, and I sat surrounded by others at school.
I remember my classroom normally held twenty, and yet on that particular day, it bulged with three or four times that number.
I also remember a moment of eerie silence as our attention was directed towards the old black and white television. It lived on a trolley that raised it up for all to clearly see.
And I will never forget watching Neil Armstrong take “. . . one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
And so, you see, my fascination with the Moon began at a very early age.
In response to the Sandbox Writing Challenge – What fascinates you?