25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE BY ANGEL NUÑEZ
What a lovely sight to behold is the moon. It is best appreciated on dark nights and more so if there are no electric lights. The moon is symbolical of romance and love. It has been the inspiration of many songs and romantic scenes, works of arts and romance poems. The moon is almost magical in its power upon us earthlings. And did you know that even in Biblical times there are many people who have believed that the moon has a lot of influence upon the earth.
Even today there are people who will cut trees for lumber when the moon is on its first quarter to avoid it from rotting easily. Sanpedranos used to cut posts for their little huts on this same premise. “If you cut posts on the right moon,” my dad used to say, “that post will last a lifetime. It is better than iron because iron rusts.”
There have been farmers who wait for the first rains during Holy Week to plant. They believe that if it does not rain on Holy Week, they must wait for another month until the next full moon.
The fishermen also know that it is during the days surrounding the full moon and the last quarter that fish will bite best. There is movement of fish and they will fill the fishing traps so fishermen wait anxiously for these days to go early to the fishing grounds and reap the seas.
Sanpedranos also believed that the full moon had something to do with the fertility of women. It had some effect in their menstrual cycles and also provided the best time for pregnancy to occur. As can be expected some couples who were having difficulty in conceiving a child, took this time of the full moon to make love and try twice or trice if possible.
And what do you know about sexual potency of older men. Oh yes, it was common belief that during the full-moon men who were having diminishing erections could enjoy the full benefits thereof. As can be expected, the older men with these symptoms would make sure they were home for the full moon. If they had some fishing trip, they waited until after the full moon. And just to tease, if a man was out with his friends and the full moon would rise, his friends would remind him that it was time to go home and enjoy the miraculous powers of the full moon. It was at this time of the month, the full moon days, that you would see that smile of satisfaction on the faces of the older folks. Incidentally, for those who are over the age of 60, it would be interesting to pay attention to this detail and see if it is true.
I remember the women of the past doing their laundry and placing them over patches of grass to bleach in the night dew and the full moon. According to them, the moon bleached even better than the sun, so white and fine clothing was left out in the night for a special effect. Some of these patches of grass were out on the street in front of their yards. Yeah, try that today!
Of yes, we do know that the moon has an effect on the tides of the sea. And whether superstition or not, the Xtabai and the Llorona would never come out to haunt men during the full moon. These women of folk tales usually came out on dark nights with the moon was in is last quarter. Wash your hair just after the full moon and it will become silky. Cut your hair just after the full moon and it will grow curly. These and many others are the effects of the moon on us earthlings. That is why we dare speak about the power of the moon.