November’s full moon occurred this morning at 1:18 AM, our time. This isn’t today’s moon; I took this photo in October, facing west early in the morning when Simon and I were out for a walk. A full moon rises around sunset, and won’t be setting with this kind of view in the morning sky for several days. At the moment it’s still in the sky; moonset is around 7:18 AM, and the sun’s brightness will all but wipe it from view.
We won’t see today’s full moon morning or night anyway; it’s thickly overcast and rainy. As this weather front moved in last night, we saw the moon through a haze of clouds, a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t tease of itself.
I just love the moon, and I always have. For millennia we’ve been more at ease at night when the moon is visible. Who needs a flashlight or a burning torch from the fire to move around? The colors change from the day’s bright hues to thousands of shades of silver. A woodland becomes a magical place — especially if there is a good snow cover to reflect all that silvery light.
New moons are amazing, too. The depth of the Universe is more apparent when our bright satellite moon is hiding its face. And farmers know that certain planting and harvesting activities are best performed at the new moon’s time.
The moon is responsible for Earth’s oceanic tides, for setting the perfect romantic scene for lovers, and who knows what else. Here’s my ode to our lovely Grandmother Moon:
I’m grandmother moon —
hidden self only
loved by the light of
my Sister’s fiery passions;
my rocks and craters,
my icy hills,
sometimes revealed in this
yielding to distance, alignment and shine.
then hot; then cold again;
thin-aired and dry,
an old woman walking great sleepless circles,
threading shadow through
the needle’s eye of day.
I stir the great waters of cousin Earth
and pull them halfway round her skin;
I’ve cradled her ships and her men,
shared the sum of my life
with the mystery of theirs;
and when their day is full
I sigh them off my lap
and tiptoe into the windless night.
Sleep safely, my children —
I am grandmother moon.