Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Moon

Technically, it's full tomorrow, not today. But I went outside, around 5:00, with still a little twilight to the west, and there was the full moon as far as I was concerned, caught in the branches of a tree, big and soft and aglow. And who knows if it will be visible tomorrow night, anyway? Probably not. So this was it. The second full moon of the month, also known as a blue moon. (Possibly from the Old English word belewe, meaning "betrayer," for an extra full moon that came too early) Meant to be the last little window I open on this advent journey through December. Same as the full moon in the first window, also counted a day early.

This is one of those phenomena almanackers are especially keen on: a meeting of month and moons, rare but not too rare--it happens once every two to three years--and combed into the culture through idiom (once in a blue moon) and song (Rodgers and Hart: I saw you standing alone...; Nanci Griffith: just once [just once] in a very blue moon...).

It wasn't blue, but the sky around it was a soft navy peacoat and the moon a big brass button caught in the tree, but working its way out and up, slowly but surely.

So what does that give us for this December meander? Time to tally. Tomorrow has enough responsibility, glory, and auld lang syne, a year's worth, a decade's worth (also counted a tad early). From 1 to 30:

Full moon (blue)
"No man can live alone" (grafitti)
alien summer sun
New York City
American wigeon (winter duck)
kid on a sled
imagined Aboriginal petroglyph Down Under
"housepainter's blue" sky of evening
winter rain
a star to swing on, bearing the face of Bing Crosby
"Having troubles, bubbles?" (lost catch phrase)
4:12 p.m.
little drummer boy of time
bird box with or without a field mouse in it
Ring-necked duck (winter duck)
my reflection in a cowl
Hanukkah candle #6
streetlamp and its cone of light
amethyst/vermillion sunset on last night of autumn
Persephone in the underworld
Goats on a leash in Lexington center
Christmas tintype of boy with fake snow
King John's red rubber ball
A red-bellied woodpecker at the feeder
The wrong end of the binoculars
Rumpus of clouds
Butternut squash pie
Canada and the Alberta Clipper
Full moon (blue)

And what does it add up to? Lights + Birds + Winter + Gifts + Art + Tradition + Surprise...equals December. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hank, You'll be pleased to know that we saw a bald eagle today at Trout Lake, teasing and being teased by a murder of crows. Caw caw. It's cold and wet here in Vancouver at the end of 2009, but no snow, thankfully. Hope you find a festive way to usher in the new year. We are hunkering down with a video (Doubt) and Stef has a nasty cold and will (no doubt) be in bed by about 9:30. Cheers!! Pen