By Cheryl Moore
It’s as slick and slippery as an eel living in a low walled enclosure, searching all the crevices to find bits of debris that didn’t find their way to the long, dark tunnel at its root. It spends most of its days and nights resting against the hard, upper ceiling except at meal times when it is an important assist in processing the food, or when in company its primary function is to express thoughts into language.
So many kinds of languages it helps to express — the hard, umlauted words of German, the soft shushes of Portuguese or Polish, the rapid clip of Spanish or Italian, even the clicks of Khoisan, and of course, the vast vocabulary of English which has borrowed from all over the world.
Such a useful organ, the tongue, it may even be aware of when to hold its peace.
When Cheryl Moore came to California in the early 1960’s, she realized she’d found her home. Then moving to Petaluma in the 70’s, she was as close to paradise as she’d ever be.
Travel has taken her to Europe and the Middle East. She has written on these memories as well as on the flora and fauna of the local river and her own garden.