Monday, September 12, 2011

Full Moon

I was born under the sign of Cancer the Crab. My “planet” is the moon.

I’m always fascinated by the soaring white, full face of the moon. Time after time I’ve tried to photograph it, but have yet to come up with a very remarkable image. But does being a “moon-child” mean that the full moon should be a time of special energy for me? I wonder.

I remember summer full moons many years ago, when I was a teen-ager; the air would be so soft and warm and the light would be so bright that my sisters and I would pad outside in our pajamas, sit on the grass and bask in the moonlight.

Those were magical nights, nights that affirmed our youth and whispered “Yes!” to all our possibilities. In those days, the path of moonlight on any body of water—even a puddle—seemed to lead to every wonderful thing the future might have in store for me. I was lucky then; I didn’t know sadness or want, hadn’t tasted real grief or heartache.

Tonight, I peer up at the full moon—tinted orange from the smoke of many wildfires in the east—and I don’t see possibilities. What do I see?

I see the coming of Fall, the season I have always loved. I love it still, but not for the same reasons as I did years ago. In my youth, Fall was more about beginnings than Spring ever was: new clothes, new shoes, a new school year; new faces to populate my life; new things to learn and accomplish. For decades after my last day of any school, I felt the newness and promise of Fall.

But now—especially this year—it’s about slowing down and cooling off; doffing the sunglasses and breathing deeply of crisper air. It’s about birds, at my feeders and returning to the wintering grounds on Sauvie Island and the marshes of the Columbia backwaters. It’s about the beautiful, protracted show of turning leaves in the Pacific Northwest; snuggly old sweaters that are the good friends of many years, soft blankets and fluffy comforters. Fall is no longer about newness and beginnings. It’s about comfort and familiarity and nesting.

I realize now that the full moon has not been a great friend to me for several years. She has taunted me with possibilities to which I could not measure up; urged me to newness I could not accept. Was it she, or was it my memory of her shining a path to my future that made me so exasperated with her? During my most difficult years, her bright face was simply a nuisance. I rolled down thick blinds and closed heavy curtains against her; I could not abide her taunting white beacon cutting into my precious few hours of barely restorative sleep.

Now, it seems we’ve come to an understanding, she and I. Tonight, she understands that I am older and tireder. Her orange face is smiling gently down on the me who is much happier thinking about comfort and familiarity than change and beginnings.

I think she and I will rest awhile before she gently begins to nudge me in a new direction.

1 comment:

  1. Astrologers say that new moons are the time to begin new projects. Full moons signify a completion. Perhaps when the moon beckons you into the next leg or the journey it will coincide with a full moon? Also, I agree with you about autumn being the season of new, whereas spring points me toward summer and the hope of a more leisurely pace...