Spell to the Moon

(First Full Moon Mandala Dedication)

20 Jan 2019

Ho Ming Fong wrote “Sing to the Dawn.” My dad taught me to sing to the moon when I was 5.

Yesterday was full moon. My tutee Niq is now in Primary 2. His spelling list has gotten longer. Twenty words this time.

I shared with him how singing to the moon when I was a kid taught me not to be afraid of being alone or lost, because wherever I am, there’s always the moon above looking to guide me.

He listened intently. I could see him grappling with the concept that just because we don’t see something, it doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.

We were at Marina Bay waiting for Moonrise. Meanwhile as he explored the grounds, he learnt about rising and falling tides and how they bring in shells & garbage that get stuck on the coastal vegetation when the tide retreats.

He picked up a broken shell to keep because he wanted to know “what the inside looks like.” But for pieces to give away, he looked for intact ones.

Asking “Why are the shells broken?” led him to learn about impact caused by Man & Nature, and the need to tread lightly on earth so as not to harm others.

Niq picked up this conch shell under the full moon light & gave it to me. The jasper was given to me by a young lady a few years back. She’ll be getting married this year.

He also found an elastic hair band to dispose of properly so that it wouldn’t end up in the stomach of seabirds & marine creatures.

“Why don’t you spell to the Moon?” I prompted, “that way she also knows the words for your spelling test. And when you’re stuck you can think of the Moon and she’ll give the words back to you.”

I’ve found focussing on an aspect of nature, be it the moon or a tree or even a small patch of an open sky can help young people stay calm when they meet problems. In this way a space opens up for solutions to emerge.

“But I also want to sing to the Moon,” he responded.

We waited as the sun set and the wind rose. The lights around the barrage came on. Then a feathery patch in the sky appeared. It shifted in brightness according to the clouds covering it.

As the Speller sat in the dark, humming a made-up tune the Moon gradually revealed her luminous presence in that magical moment.

Over dinner under the Moon, Niq said to me in mocked modesty as he munched on a satay,” Don’t ask me to spell ‘nutritious’ cos I don’t know.”

May the full moon bless all sentient beings who have the gift of words and speech to help those who don’t.

And may her light imbue our words with the power to raise the spirit in joy for ourselves and for all sentient beings.

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