Friday, August 16, 2019

The Barley Moon of August

Oh, for a perfect, burnished full moon on an evening in late summer... After many years, the longing remains in all its foolish intensity - a yearning to be enfolded in something grand and gilded and luminous.

The late French conductor Pierre Boulez once said: Just listen with the vastness of the world in mind; you can't fail to get the message. Whatever happens to my gnarly old self and its molecules (starstuff) this time around, I like to think that a tiny scrap of the world's grace and grandeur and vastness will remain in my consciousness as I billow off into the great beyond like a scrap of linen liberated from the clothesline.  Let there be that and a few scattered images of the moon surrounded by stars and looking down on the earth, lustrous and blithe of countenance. Every night is a jeweled tapestry, and every lunar round is a wonder to the eyes and lens tracing her contours, mapping her mountains and valleys, wide mesas and dry seas, lingering on her glossy light.

Under the August moon, geese move back and forth between rivers and fields.  Deer and wild turkeys graze along farm fences, and coyote clans call across the hills in voices hinting at autumn. Moonlight turns trees in the woodland into throngs of interlaced fingers and their dancing leaves into flocks of nocturnal butterflies - it touches grasses with silver, transforms sleeping fields into rippling dunes and rolling oceans.  In its light, farm buildings, fences and windmills are stark shapes silhouetted against the darkness and far-flung stars.  There is something mysterious and bewitching about this month's moon, and for all the activity down here on earth, there is something plaintive and rather haunting too.  The barley harvest is about to begin in the highlands of eastern Ontario, and "Barley Moon" is the perfect name for the lady shining down on us all this month.

We also know the August moon as the: Acorns Ripening Moon, Berry Moon, Big Harvest Moon, Big Ripening Moon, Blackberry Moon, Blueberry Moon, Centáwen Moon, Claiming Moon, Coho Salmon Return Moon, Corn Is In Silk Moon, Corn Moon, Crest of the Hill Moon, Cutter Moon, Dahlia Moon, Dispute Moon, Dog Days Moon, Drying up Moon, Eighth Moon, Elembivos Moon, Feather Shedding Moon, Flying Moon, Fruit Moon, Gathering Rice Moon, Geese Shedding Feathers Moon, Gladiolus Moon, Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Harvest Moon, Hazel Moon, Joyful Moon, Lammas Moon, Leaves Moon, Lightning Moon, Moon After Lugnasadh, Middle Moon, Moon of First Harvest, Moon of Freshness, Moon of Life at It's Height, Moon When Young Ducks Begin to Fly, Moon When All Things Ripen, Moon When Cherries Are Ripe, Moon When Elk Bellow, Moon When Indian Corn Is Edible, Much Heat Moon, Much Ripeness Moon, Mulberries Moon, Paper Bark Moon, Pear Blossom Moon, Plum Moon, Ripe Berries Moon, Ripe Corn Moon, Rising Moon, Starts to Fly Moon, Still Green Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Tall Grass Moon, Thumb Moon, Vegetation Moon, Wode Moon, Wheat Cut Moon, Wild Rice Moon, Women's Moon, Wood Cutter’s Moon or Wort Moon.

My own favorite names for this month's moon are Ripening Moon, Blackberry Moon, Corn Moon and Women's Moon.

1 comment:

Barbara R. said...

I love when you give all the details of names for different full moons. Can't decide on my favorites. But a comment must be given to your thoughts of flying off back to the cosmos. I have just pre-posted a blog saying goodbye to bloggers...and it won't be left to be published unless I have stopped blogging because I'm incapacitated or dead. I can just keep changing its post date as long as I'm here, but if not, then eventually people who read it will know why I've disappeared, or at least read my goodbye. So many of my favorite bloggers have disappeared, and I often wonder if they are flying in the cosmos now.