Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Wolf Moon

We've had the treat of clear skies the last several nights. I can't even remember when I've ever seen the moon so full on a winter night. We just don't have clear skies in January. So when I was awakened by the light of the full moon shining in my north facing bedroom window, I was kind of startled. The Native Americans have names for the full moons. The names often coincide with what is going on in nature.

The Full Snow Moon is in February since the heaviest snow often falls during this month. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

Full Worm Moon is March. As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter.

The Full Buck Moon is July because this is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

January's moon is called the Full Wolf Moon. I guess it's named for the hungry wolf packs that howled outside villages in the early settler days.

I'm sure the full moon gleaming in the distant sky and hungry wolves baying at the door didn't do much for pioneer romance, but it does something to me. I catch myself gazing and sighing at that big globe. I get itchy feet during times of weather change. (And clear skies are definitely a change around here.) I can feel myself dreaming of warm breezes and distant lands and adventure. But the reality is that I have a sink of dirty dishes and animals that need to be fed and children that need supper........ and a wonderful husband to snuggle into tonight in our big warm bed and a great book that I'm dying to start.

So I think I'll just sigh at that big moon for another night and think of spring that's just around the corner with all the busy-ness that comes with warmer weather. And be happy that we don't have wolves howling at the door. And that our kids are warm and safe in their beds. And that we are content and happy to be together.

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