Monday, September 24, 2018

September's Harvest Moon

September's moon is my favorite in the whole turning year.  It is also (above all others), the one I can't describe or take a good photo of, no matter how extensive my preparations and meticulous my labors.  Every year, I potter off to a good vantage point, set up camera, telescope and tripod, check my settings and wait patiently for night to fall. The moon rises, and I stand breathless in the darkness, trying to capture her magnificence with my lens, grasping a scant handful of inadequate words to describe the most beautiful moon of the year.  Bearing witness to this month's full moon is a personal seasonal rite, and if I had to brew up a name of my own for it, that name would be "Hallelujah Moon".

It is something of a cosmic joke, this business of standing outside after dark and taking photo after photo of every full moon but never a good one. Well, here we are again, another glorious Harvest Moon has just gone by, and another folder of mediocre images has been captured.  It brings to mind the Zen teaching tale in which a monk on his deathbed was asked to describe his life, and he replied blithely, "just one mistake after another..."

In the greater scheme of things, it doesn't matter how my efforts turned out - it was being there that mattered.  I was happy to be around for another harvest moon, and I hope to be around for many more. Lady Moon rose t the appointed hour, and we (Himself, Beau and I) were out in the darkness watching her do her thing.  As we packed up our stuff, we couldn't help thinking that such magnificence deserved a gesture of some kind, a chorus, a chant or a benediction - something grander and more luminous than rickety bows and contented sighs.

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.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I look forward to your beautiful Harvest Moon posts every year, Cate. Thank you!

John O said...

The contemplative experience transcends words and photographic images, and yet we write and take pictures to express the inexpressible. It is in the act of pressing the camera button or struggling to find the right words that we acknowledge a contemplative experience in an attempt to share it, to validate it, even though we know that the result will, at best, be a weak shadow of our encounter.

Barbara Rogers said...

My moon experiences these days are usually having a smile as I wake in the night to find her shining through the leaves on my bed. Thanks for keeping on trying to improve upon what, to my eyes, is perfection.

M. E. Martinsen said...

Another thought: Mistakes are proof that you are trying. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.