Here is another take on the name of this “first” moon, which I have dubbed Snow Moon. This is a few lines from Hal Borland, one of my favorite outdoor writers.
“Indians called this the Wolf Moon, knowing well the time when fangs were eager and hunger drove the pack. Most of the wolves are gone, but the fangs remain, fangs of ice and cold, the great primal forces of Winter’s depth. The wind courses the valleys and harries the hills, and the long nights have sharpened it’s fangs. The ice lies deep…
…The Wolf Moon, they called it, listening to the howl of the pack in the Winter valleys. And the howl I hear tonight will be the wolf howl of the wind in those same valleys, the primal forces at work in the Winter world.”
– Hal Borland, This Hill, This Valley
The wolves are gone from here, also, though one was found two years ago just south of where I do the majority of my walking.
My Facebook status update yesterday went like this “Umm…New year’s was like December 21st, wasn’t it?” You know, the winter solstice marking the longest night of the year. The longer days marking the start of a new year.
I got one reaction to it.
But as I’m trying to find deeper connection while I’m here, I find ancient timekeeping interesting. Imagine what it took for a member of a clan or tribe to be the one to let everyone else know that the new year has started because today is the day the sun is coming back. It’s going to spend more time in the sky. The rock (or stick) and it’s shadow are shortening. This means that soon we’ll be able to plant. The birds and their eggs will soon return.
My new year started on December 21st this time around. And yes, I have some goals that I set in motion because of it. Why not try? Maybe this time, because I’ve paid attention to the natural cycle, they will bear fruit.
– Casey Harn
I have lived in this area for 49 winters. I see the landscape come alive in spring and die in autumn. Birds come and go. Frogs warm, call and go quiet. Butterflies starting to flit about during the first good stretch of warm weather, then disappear with the last days of fall.
I wonder what I would do if I could not witness it every year. The life and death of it all. I find a certain beauty in it.
– Casey Harn
We do not need to see how quickly we can get from Point A to Point B. There does not need to be a purpose the rest of the world needs to understand. Put your hands in your pockets and take a slow and mindful walk. Have a look around. Feel the wind and smell the air. Breathe.
– Casey Harn
For some of us, the grind of day-to-day living can be like standing under a waterfall, taking the punishment of the deluge from high. We regularly need a refuge – a retreat. All this takes is to step into the cave behind the waterfall. There we can rest and heal before having to return to the torrent.
My hope is that this site becomes a place where you can take refuge. It will for me, at the least.
– Casey Harn, 2016