Thursday, January 20, 2011
On cold winter nights the moon seems so close that I can almost touch her, and she is a powerful teacher. I am reminded by her radiant presence that the lens through which I see everything in these eldering days is metaphorical, sacramental and relative - it arises from a sense of kinship, from a bone deep and inexpressible faith in the elemental grace and grandeur that glue the world together. I trust in that grace and grandeur, and they light up all my earthly days. Sometimes, just sometimes, my camera captures just a trace of the Great Mystery at the heart of existence.
In January, we stoke up our fireplaces and wood stoves, and we stay close by our hearths in the long nights. We brew endless pots of tea and countless cauldrons of soup. We count sticks of firewood piled in our summer kitchens and along our verandas, silently calculating how long the supply of firewood will hold out this year. We wrap up in every warm garment we own and take toboggan loads of food out into the forest for the birds, the red squirrels and the deer. We look for the first signs that daylight hours are increasing, and we measure the sharp lengths of the long blue shadows falling along the trail into the woods.
Last, night as I shivered outside with the camera and waited for the moon to come up, I had a happy thought - in a few weeks, the Great Horned Owls will be courting and then nesting in my woods, and a few weeks after that, the maple syrup season will (hopefully) be starting in the Lanark Highlands.
We also know this moon as the: After Yule Moon, Big Cold Moon, Buckeyes Ripe Moon, Carnation Moon, Center Moon, Ceremonial Initiate Moon, Cold Moon, Cooking Moon, Turning Moon, Earth Renewal Moon, First Moon, Frost in the Tepee Moon, Frozen Ground Moon, Great Moon, Great Spirit Moon, Greetings Maker Moon, Her Cold Moon, Hibiscus Moon, Holiday Moon, Ice Moon, Lakes Frozen Moon, Little Winter Moon, Long Moon, Man Moon, Midwinter Moon, Moon After Yule, Moon of Darkness, Moon of Flying Ants, Moon of Life at It's Height, Moon of Strong Cold, Moon of the Bear, Moon of the Child, Moon of Whirling Snow, Moon When Animals Lose Their Fat, Moon When Limbs of Trees Are Broken by Snow, Moon When Snow Drifts into Tipis, Moon When the Snow Blows like Spirits in the Wind, Moon When the Sun Has Traveled South, Moon When the Old Fellow Spreads the Brush , Moon When Wolves Run Together, Ninene Moon, No Snow in Trails Moon, Old Moon, Pine Moon, Plum Blossom Moon, Quiet Moon, Rivros Moon, Rowan Moon, Severe Moon, Snow Blindness Moon, Snow Moon, Snow Thaws Moon, Snowdrop Moon, Snowy Path Moon, Strong Cold Moon, Sun Has Not Strength to Thaw Moon, Thumb Moon, Trail Squint Moon, Two Trails Moon, Weight Loss Moon, Whirling Wind Moon, White Waking Moon, Winter Moon, Winter's Younger Brother Moon, Wolf Moon
I like the name "Wolf Moon", but I am also fond of "Great Spirit Moon" and "Earth Renewal Moon".