Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cold Moon

Sometimes the seasons blend into one another gradually and the world changes slowly or in sensible stages. That’s not what happened this week. Winter slammed the door on the balmy fall we had been enjoying. Just over a week ago, I was sitting in the woods watching a big flock of robins gulping berries and digging for worms among the maple leaves. Just a few days ago, I was working outside in a warm drizzle. The days were December in name only.

Yesterday morning we had the first snow of the season: about two wet inches that turned to slush during the day and re-froze in the evening. I noticed a full moon rising in the East: the Cold Moon of December. I had been in denial about the season, but here was a celestial wake-up call.

On my way home from a class at the gym last night I took a detour over Moose Hill. I wanted to see the field where I had enjoyed the swallows of spring and the butterflies of summer in its new coating of snow illuminated by the full winter moon. Only the gentlest of breezes passed through the trees, causing a few icy branches to clack like dry bones. Otherwise, all was quiet.

Tonight, I ran up the hill with the rising moon at my back, lighting the way. Even at the evening rush hour, few cars go over the hill and it was good to have the lunar light to help me avoid the icy spots. As I left the road to run up the dirt road to the old farm, the frozen gravel crunched underfoot. The bright moon in a clear, starry sky lit the old field where I spent so many wonderful moments this spring, summer and fall; listening to peepers in April, watching a spotted fawn in July and being overwhelmed by the simple beauty of a red tree in October. I walked up to the old barn and admired the elegant simplicity of its lines as the moonlit lit its old cedar sides. My breath turned white in the cold and drifted toward the stars.

By the time I got home, frost had formed on my vest as the moisture leaving my body froze into white crystals on my shoulders. I knew that my trips to Moose Hill had entered a new season and I looked forward to seeing the woods and fields in a new way.


At 2:45 PM, Blogger robin andrea said...

I just read your previous post and this one. I am beginning to appreciate how getting to know one place well, its changing seasons and varying wildlife is like developing an amazing and lifelong friendship. Your descriptions of Moose Hill are always so beautifully and lovingly written.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

Seems like everyone else is getting snow but us in NJ.

One thing that I think makes up for the lack of daylight in December is the brightness of the night sky. These nights around the full moon I try to listen late for the great horned owls calling because I expect their hunting to be good in such light.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Lilly said...

Ah, Mojoman, you take us on such wonderful journeys with words. Thanks again, and welcome to winter!

At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Happy Birthday to the best blogger on the world wide web!!

At 10:44 AM, Blogger MojoMan said...

Robin Andrea: Yes, now that I've been doing this for 8 months, it's fun to re-visit places in different seasons and different states of mind.

Laura: Thanks for the reminder about GHO's. I should go up on the hill and listen for them.

Lilly: It's always good to know there is someone who wants to come along.

Dear Anonymous: This is the 21st century where blogs have birthdays but bloggers stay young forever.


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