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EnglishThe Bajang Child Swinging the Moon (30)

The Bajang Child Swinging the Moon (30)

Day by day, she grows thinner. Her face wilts, like the blooms of the wungu (desert petunia) that fall from the top of the temple, because they are farthest from the greeting of the sun’s rays.

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Sumantri falls silent. And he releases his mother's breasts from his mouth. Dewi Sokawati thinks her son understands and accepts all that she has said. She smiles happily. She picks up her son and offers him to the moon. It seems as though she is asking the moon to be a witness so her son will keep his promise. And the silence of the night seems to sing along, that it is impossible that her two children will be separated again. A moment later, half of the moon is visible as white clouds envelop it. Is this a sign that the moon is not willing to be a witness? Dewi Sokawati does not care. Strands of mangli (spider lily) hang from the clouds that cover the moon. One by one, the flowers fall to the earth. Once they touch the earth, the flowers change into white champak flowers. Dewi Sokawati picks them up and feels as though she is picking up her sadness again.

Her sorrow grows along with Sumantri, who has stopped suckling. Dewi Sokawati feels that she is at the end of her journey. Her days seem to be in twilight, waiting for the sun to set. The valleys of the Jatisrana hermitage turn into empty ravines. She sits on their edge, waiting. Down below, the river flows. It is unknown where the water will go. All that can be heard is the sound of her sadness in her ears.

Editor: Syahnan Rangkuti