Friday, August 12, 2022

Friday Ramble - 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, and way up there among the stars.

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 dancing leaves into flocks of nocturnal butterflies - it touches grasses with silver, turns 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. This was the last supermoon of 2022, and what a glorious moon it was.

In other years I would be standing outside in the wee hours of the morning to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower. Debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet, the Perseids are the most spectacular meteor shower of the year, named for the event's apparent radiant (the point from which the meteors seem to originate) in the constellation Perseus. The shower is peaking, but it is difficult to see this year because of the moon which will dominate the sky for several nights to come. I may go out for a spot of meteor gazing tonight anyway - I have been doing it for many years. 

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.

There are many names for August's full moon, but my own favorites are: Ripening Moon, Blackberry Moon, Corn Moon and Women's Moon.


Karen Hall said...

Love this 💕

Jim Cummings said...

I will carry that image, of returning to the vast mystery with a bit of the wonder of this world still intact somewhere in whatever form that larger, diffused beingness may entail…