That shining object in the night sky has been the subject of poetry. Some good, some bad. Some inspirational, some laughable. I once played a fortune-telling tightrope walker in an experimental play. Experimental in that none of the actors were actually actors. We were a hodge-podge of artistic folks. Painters, writers, sculptors. With a few rules. I can’t remember all of them, but we had to include fortune telling, a tight rope, a pie, opera singing, and, of course, the moon.

Mani and Sol chased by Loki’s wolf grandchildren, Hati and Skoll.

What happens when an experimental play is sloshed together in a week? With non-actors to boot?  Well of course the person who is afraid to sing gets assigned the only operatic moment in the play… 

First grade. My first public speech moment. Standing in front of 25 six-year olds, I opened my mouth to recite a story… I have no idea what it was because apparently I was a bit nervous. And the fact is, no one remembered that story even the moment after I finished it. Because when I opened my mouth, instead of the carefully rehearsed story, I hiccuped. Hilarity ensued.

So imagine my terror years later, when asked to sing operatically of the moon. I protested to no avail. The writer would not budge. The juxtaposition of the veiled operatic, fortune-telling, tightrope walker in a costume of black dress, striped socks and combat boots was too vital in the tale of transformation (of course, involving the moon). In that moment of terror when I let loose the allegedly operatic verse in the play, I’m pretty sure I sounded more like a wolf howling at the moon.

Here we are facing the longest night of the year, on the verge of a full moon. This full moon is known as the Cold Moon, Oak Moon, and the Longest Night Moon. In some European traditions it is known as the Moon before Yule.

Winter Solstice at Chaco Canyon 2017.

In the coming months I’ll tell a story for each full moon with special attention to the Seed Moon or Pink Moon of April. At that time, I’ll be celebrating the moon with herbalists, culinary artists, and other plant lovers along the Dolores River during a retreat called Seeds of Nourishment.
Meanwhile, whether you can see the moon tonight or not, remember that the darkest part of 2019 is lit by the Cold Moon, the Oak Moon, the Longest Night Moon. Next month? The Wolf Moon, my favorite.