I am Moaaaanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

…was one of the absolute high points of the movie, the point where she realizes her passion, listens to her inner voice, and joins with the ancestors in her quest. The core of the film is learning who you really are, not defined by “shiny”, or by titles like “chief”, or by family expectations (although your “mountain”, the people behind you in your village and ancestry, is important), or even by fabulous magic items like magic fishhooks. Even Maui is Maui because he was chosen for some inner quality… the hook is an accessory, a tool.

Hopefully we can all find that inner voice, follow our true passion and purpose and find joy along the way.

Ironically my name, made up by my very Pennsylvania Dutch parents in 1955 rhymes with Moana… Teanna. It has no particular meaning like Moana does (ocean), being a pairing of Ted/Anna. Though, once, I figured out that in Elvish it sort of means late gift.

journey in the dark 3

Still, that song resonates with me…

I am the girl who loves my island
I’m the girl who loves the sea
It calls me

Sometimes the world seems against you
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just
Where you are

There are a lot of islands that have deep significance to me. Chincoteague, where the action of one of my favorite childhood books takes place: Misty of Chincoteague. My utterly landlubber dad took us there the last year Misty was alive, and I have been going back, by tent and backpack and kayak ever since. Assateague is the long barrier island that wraps around little Chincoteague like a protective dragon. Both are made of sand and marsh and loblolly pine, full of seabirds and egrets, wild ponies and deer, skates and rays and sharks and seahorses and sea pork (it looks like orange brains).

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge sits at the end of a peninsula (“neck”) between the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. I have circumnavigated it in my kayak, I have spent the night off its shores on an 1812 privateer named Pride of Baltimore II, I have sailed past it on Schooner Sultana. Hawaii’s voyaging canoe, Hokule’a sailed past it twice, earlier this year, part of a world spanning voyage that would have amazed Moana’s ancestors.

All these places are in danger from climate change and sea level rise. Tangier, a bit of sand rising barely above the surface of the bay was visited by Hokule’a too. Like some south Pacific islands, Tangier is sinking due to sea level rise.

What can you do? Vote. Blog. Contribute to the kind of .orgs that are doing things to change this. I have a few local favorites: Sultana Education Foundation, The Bay Journal.

we see the island in our mind, we know where we are…

(some pics I took of my islands, rivers, bays and boats…)



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