September's moon is my favorite in the whole turning year - it is also (above all others), the one I can't describe adequately or take a good photo of, no matter how extensive my preparations and how hard I try. Every year, I potter off to a good vantage point, set up camera, telescope and tripod, check my settings and wait patiently. The moon rises over the trees (or sometimes a rooftop), and I stand out there in the darkness like an enraptured fool with my eyes open wide, a heart full of wonder and a shocking paucity of words for describing the glorious golden lady who rules the night. Bearing witness to this month's full moon is a personal rite, and if I had to brew up a name of my very own for it, that name would be "Hallelujah Moon".
Once upon a time, I described the situation as a cosmic joke, this business of a creaky elder standing out under the trees and taking picture after picture of the full moon but never a good one. Well, gentle readers, here we are again, another glorious Harvest Moon has just gone by, another mediocre image captured and shared. It brings to mind the old Zen tale in which a monk on his deathbed was asked to describe his mindful life, and he replied merrily, "just one mistake after another..."
Last evening, Lady Moon was as golden as a moon in harvest time ought to be, and whether or not I managed to capture her perfectly does not really matter a fig or a hoot in the greater scheme of things. She climbed into the night skies like a great golden lantern, and Himself, Spencer and I were standing out in the darkness together hand in paw to witness her ascension. As we packed up all our stuff and headed indoors later, we couldn't help thinking that such beauty deserved an ecstatic gesture of some sort, a chorus, a chant or a benediction - something grander and more luminous than our deep bows and sighs of rapt contentment.
We also know this moon as the: Acorn Bread Moon, Acorns Gathered Moon, All Ripe Moon, Aster Moon, Autumn Moon, Barley Moon, Between Harvest Moon, Blood Berry Moon, Eating Indian Corn Moon, Black Calf Moon, Calf Grows Hair Moon, Chrysanthemum Moon, Corn Moon, Corn Maker Moon, Dancing Moon, Deer Paw the Earth Moon, Dog Salmon Return to Earth Moon, Elderberry Moon, Drying Grass Moon, Fruit Moon, Hay Cutting Moon, Her Acorns Moon, Holy Moon, Hulling Corn Moon, Index-finger Moon, Leaf Fall Moon, Leaf Yellow Moon, Leaves Changing Color Moon, Little Chestnut Moon, Maize Moon, Mallow Blossom Moon, Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon of First Frost, Moon of Full Harvest, Moon of Much Freshness, Moon When the Leaves Fall, Moon of Plenty, Moon When the Corn Is Taken in, Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet, Moon When Deer Paw the Earth, Moon When Calves Grow Hair, Moon When Everything Ripens and Corn Is Harvested, Moose Moon, Morning Glory Moon, Mulberry Moon, Nut Moon, Papaw Moon, Rice Moon, Rudbeckia Moon, Seed Moon, Shining Leaf Moon, Silky Oak Moon, Singing Moon, Soaproot Dug For Fish Poison Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Wavy or Snow Goose Moon, Wine Moon, Wood Moon, Yellow Leaf Moon.