When you walk in the moonlight the feeling is so different from a walk at dawn. Even when the light is cool and water shimmers from a low winter sun, the quality of light from the moon evokes more reluctant blue thoughts, blue, and subconscious.
The full moon coming up on Tuesday is often called a snow moon as it tends to be the coldest part of the year. February moons really are distinctly strange and strong. This super moon is closest to the earth and appears large in the sky. It is obdurate and solicits you to enquire within.
I walk with my dogs, their white markings glow like beacons. The moon could have me howling; it’s been a tough couple of years. Geese fly over our heads and I remember how my mother used to love seeing them too. I think of matriarchal winter, the triple goddess in the moon. Maid, mother, and crone: my grandmother, my mother and me huddled in coffee shops together, sharing moments. Letting the moons pass by in each other’s company, our lives intertwining and finally unraveling.
Walking under this moon I recall how strong my grandmother had been in the face of all that she dealt with in life – and it was a lot. Even when she lost her only child my mother, she kept herself going day after day. It was because I saw her so selfless as she accepted the finality of my mother’s death with such fortitude, that I was able to hold myself together when inevitably I lost her too, almost a year later.
No, however inevitable something might be, we still struggle against it. I felt like an orphan of course, still do, but compared to what my grandmother dealt with, I’ve had it pretty easy. What’s easy about death? The moon makes us face it. The moon month after month tells us make the most of now because there are only so many more moons in your lifetime. It’s why I will always walk in moonlight. I was so abject after last year that I allowed myself some new companions: the sort of dogs that I grew up with, dogs that I have been promising myself ever since I left the family home thirty years ago. Thirty years of promising. That’s about 365 full moons.
On full moons now some yogis and friends gather, we build a fire on the meadow, the moon shining up at us from the river. Sometimes we dance, sometimes we write. Sometimes we just sit and chat and drink mulled wine. It has happened a few times that the full moon coincides with one of our yoga retreats, and then it is a magical combination of mantras and dance and feeling fit. It’s a good feeling to know that every full moon is spent with people I care about and admire, because pretty soon my life will be spent too, and I wouldn’t be able to hide any regrets from the stark blue light of the moon.