Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins. – American Indian Proverb
I had just finished rereading Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons and it still gave me the same lingering feeling of wanting to muse over things after I turned the last page of the book. I may have written my thoughts in one of my earlier journals back then and now here I was again, scribbling on my latest journal, pouring word after word coz they kept coming out of me, sometimes faster than I could write them down.
The book came to me a little accidentally as I was searching for something to read in the library back when I was in elementary. After that, I knew I had to have it and I finally did when I found a copy in a second-hand bookstore one day. It was May 19, 2007 and I know because I wrote it down on the first page. I usually write the date I bought a book on its first page. #ToRemindMe Before that, it was owned by a girl named Lexie. And I knew that too because she wrote her name at the back of the front page cover with a heart doodle beside her name.
The story revolves around two layers of stories – Sal(amanca)’s and her friend, Phoebe’s. For those who’ve read it before, they would instantly know who they are, including Mrs. Cadaver, Mrs. Partridge, Gramps and Grams, Sal’s Mom and Dad, and Ben. Somehow, it was through Phoebe’s own story that Sal was also able to finish a chapter of her story, one that she had difficulty accepting how it turned out until she closed her friend’s story and faced hers.
That lingering feeling stayed with me because I discovered something about my own life and its current happenings. I somehow could feel what Sal was feeling, like I was in her moccasins as I saw a part of my story also intertwined with another’s. I would call her Eli in this blogpost, and when I think of her, I see fragments of myself in her. In totality, my story is different from hers but we both felt and experienced similar things which made me empathize with her. It was as if we were both driving separately and then one day, our paths crossed. I stopped my car as she pulled her brakes too and I went to look through her moccasins, even if I wasn’t sure if she looked through mine. And it was through her experiences that I came to understand her, her feelings, and mine too.
Recently, her own chapter had ended and it’s time for both of us to move along the road in different directions. I wouldn’t know what will happen to Eli after but there is a story that I will know about – and it’s mine. I must face my own story, my own pain. She had made her decision. What will be mine? It didn’t matter if she understood what I was feeling or not. It was about seeing things through a different pair of eyes. My pain was twice felt as the first was for her. Now, it’s for me. What will be my closure?
Eli – with her story, feelings, and good but fragile heart – is my Phoebe. I have no Ben in this story and I am not expecting blackberry kisses either. But she was placed in my life until it was time for her to leave. And I am glad she was there when it mattered.
It’s time to move forward.
I feel like I’m speaking in riddles but this will have to do for now.
In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter? – Proverb