Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Flower Moon of May

You thought perhaps that I had forgotten about Monday's full moon? I did not, but May's full moon was an elusive creature, hidden for the most part behind dense dark rain clouds and only peeking forth for a fleeting moment, now and again. Not seeing the full moon put something of a damper on my springtime sentiments, and I waited another night, hoping for a clear view, but (alas), this is the May moon image of another year. There is something just plain old wrong about not seeing the full moon in the month of May when the whole world north of the equator is greening up with abandon, and there seem to be inducements to fertility and the proliferation of species everywhere one looks.

May's is the moon of flowers and planting, and hopefully the first moon of the year in which there is no frost on the ground. Above all else, it honours natural cycles and the spirit of the harvest to be — I think of this moon as the "moon of growing things" or the "moon of the faithful gardener". As we prepare our garden plots and sow our seeds in the good dark friable earth, we are also planting seeds within, and we are already casting our thoughts forward to summer days of light, warmth, weeding and fertilizing, distant autumn rhythms of reaping, gathering and "putting things by" for winter. Each and every seed is a wonder in the joyous process of evolving and becoming, just as we are.

For Buddhist practitioners, this is the Moon of Wesak and the most holy interval of the whole turning year, the day on which the Buddha reached enlightenment under his Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. On this full moon, perhaps we can think about the nature of connection and the manner in which we are walking this path together.

We also know this moon as the: Alewife Moon, Blossom Moon, Bottlebrush Moon, Bright Moon, Budding Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Dragon Moon, Dyad Moon, Fawn Moon, Field Maker Moon, Fish Moon, Frog Moon, Frogs Return Moon, Geese Go North Moon, Geese Moon, Grass Moon, Hare Moon, Idle Moon, Iris Moon, Joy Moon, Leaf Tender Moon, Leafing Out Moon, Leaves Appear Moon, Lily of the Valley Moon, Little Corn Moon, Little Finger Moon, Magnolia Moon, Merry Moon, Milk Moon, Moon of Big Leaf, Moon of the Strawberry, Moon of Clouds and Thunder, Moon of Waiting, Moon When Corn is Planted, Moon When Ponies Shed Their Fur, Moon When the Buffalo Plant is in Flower, Moon When the Leaves Are Green, Moon When the Little Flowers Die, Moon When the Horses Get Fat, Moon When Women Weed Corn, Mulberry Moon, Mulberry Ripening Moon, New Waters Moon, Old Woman Moon, Panther Moon, Penawen Moon, Peony Moon, Planting Moon, Putting Seeds in the Hole Moon, Rain Falls Moon, Seeds Moon, Seeds Ripen Moon, Sprout Kale Moon, Staying Home Moon, Storm Moon, Storing Moon, Strawberry Moon, Suckers Dried Moon, Summer Moon, Thrice Milk Moon, Moon, When the Ponies Shed Shaggy Hair Moon, Wesak Moon, Wind Tossed Moon, Winnemon Moon

Happy Wesak to you and yours.


Unknown said...

Dear Kate, this gorgeous image went straight to my heart... thank thee.

Val said...

It is such a wonderful time of year, that to have Wesak at the full moon is perfection itself. We have had clear nights in England this last week, and the mornings have been crisp and fresh.

I am off to share the company of the Dalai Lama in Nottingham this weekend (along with several thousand others!)

I shall miss the quiet, green, blossomy countryside but look forward to the delights of a city!

I think my hotel has wifi internet access, so I may catch up on blogging! One can only meditate and listen to the dharma for so long...

Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't get to see your full moon Kate, but this image is a great stand in. Interestingly, I just found out that the Theravada buddhist's Wesak is now, but the Tibetan buddhists won't be celebrating Saka Dawa till June 18.
So if you like, it can be a two month affair : )

Leanne said...

I think this is a breathtaking photo, thank you for sharing it.

leanne x