Sun and Moon
A short essay I wrote while staring at my sun and moon.
A sun and a moon live together on my dining room wall. They have stared at me for most of my life.
They first arrived in my home in the Bronx in 2010. My family had just returned from El Salvador. Our trip to my mother’s hometown was almost extended as she made a last-minute decision to go to the nearby market. She’s always eager to bring back an abundance of items that range from cultural foods to colorful beaded jewelry and, this time, an intricate wooden sun and moon piece.
They have rested on the wall ever since.
I was 6 when the sun and the moon entered my home. This year I’ll turn 19. I am in my second semester of college. I have one fewer cat than I had back then. I have two more pairs of glasses. Everything in my life has either increased or decreased. I keep a count in the little journal in my head which takes in all of the differences and indifferences, the losses and wins. Yet from what I can remember, my sun and moon have not changed. They sit day after day, without complaining.
The sun is carved so that it looks directly at you, and the moon is carved in a side profile but it can see everything through its peripheral vision. I was initially afraid of the duo. Perhaps it was my child-like delusion that the sun blinked at me once or my ignorance of the solar system. Maybe it was the glares they gave me.
As I’ve gotten older, I see that my sun and moon don’t glare at me anymore, just observe.
This could be attributed to simply growing up and leaving my childish view of the world behind. But I think it’s more about confronting my fear. The fear of being in the spotlight, the fear of how I am perceived. I am not famous by any means but the stage of the world terrifies me. Having the sun and moon stare at me at home while going through life stages could be terrifying. It took me a while to realize it was a gift. We all share the sun and moon on this earth, but I have my own personal set.
If my sun and moon can remain unscathed through the gardens of life, who says I can’t do the same and grow my own flowers?
The duo’s constant presence and fixed point on my wall is a thought that fixated on me. Even amidst the chaos that my home emitted, the cracks of age that surrounded them, and the tunes of emotion that sang out daily, my sun and moon continued to display values that I came to admire-balance, steadiness, and the ability to view the world through different perspectives.
When I did not feel the warmth of the sun’s rays or see the glow of the moon in the sky a few years ago during the pandemic-I sought comfort in the sun and moon situated just inches away from me, hanging for all to enjoy on the small dining room wall.
As I trace the surface of my sun and moon, the pads of my fingers worn out by years of paper cuts and pen markings, I feel the intricate lines and crevices in the wood and a growing roughness. My sun and moon too have aged. They have seen me finish trails and start down new pathways. They have helped shape my values. I thank them for their silent watch over my life.
The idea of this essay came to me late one night. I was studying and happened to catch a glimpse of the wooden Sun and Moon piece on my dining room wall. I wanted to write a piece that reflected my values and I felt that the duo made the perfect conduit to express my ideas.
Jacqueline Bernabe-born and raised in The Bronx but with roots going back to the little country of El Salvador. She hopes to share her ideas and hear the ideas of others in the Girls Write Now community. Jacqueline is excited to take her pen and paper (and the Google doc) and continue writing as she dives into the Girls Write Now world. If she’s not typing away with her manicured nails, you’ll find her studying on the Lehman campus (Renaissance HS), trying new foods, going to movie theaters or binging Criminal Minds for the 3rd time.