The Strawberry Moon

Did anyone see the strawberry moon the night of June 20? It was pretty amazing.

Quoting from CNBC: “For one night, it was the Summer of Love all over again. Astronomically speaking. For the first time since June 1967, two astronomical phenomena occurred at the same time. Monday evening, a full “strawberry” moon shone in the night sky during the summer solstice — the longest day of the year.

EarthSky.org said a full moon on a summer solstice is a rare event, and another one is not likely to come around until June 21, 2062.

Why is it called a strawberry moon? The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the Algonquin tribe of indigenous Americans called the June full moon by that name because it occurred around the time the strawberries were being picked.

The moon reached its fullness Monday morning, and the actual evening solstice took place at 6:34 p.m. Eastern time.”

This is the second strawberry moon I have witnessed; I was there for the 1967 one, and for this latest one. When you stand on our back porch and look up, you can see the moon shining through the trees. While it didn’t exactly turn strawberry-pink, it became sort of an amber color, and was a beautiful sight.

There are a lot of myths about the moon and its effect on us; people do crazy things or they are unusually aggravated, and the list goes on and on. Well, think of this: if the moon affects the great waters of the world and we ourselves are what—50 – 75% water; then it stands to reason that we could be affected by the pull of the moon in some way.

Whatever pull the full moon may have, I find that it always makes me happy. There’s something about that big, beautiful golden coin rising majestically up in the heavens that is spell-binding. As a child, I used to wish on the full moon. On hot summer nights when I stayed overnight at my grandparents’ house, which faced Mirror Lake, I liked to watch the moon “walk” on the water. I would drift off to sleep with the sound of the frogs’ choir; ‘chug-a-RUM, chug-a-RUM,” and the tiny slap of waves on the sandy beach.

I would make up poems about it, too, loving that “oon” sound:

“Moon, June,

Big baboon!

Loon, tune,

Honeymoon!

Goon, spoon,

Big typhoon!

Boon, swoon,

Mad raccoon!

Dune, soon,

Dogs at noon!”

It was a wonderful way to fall asleep, with a poem in my head, the moon shining down, and dreams full of moons and tunes and frogs in June.

To all of you who may live long enough to see the next strawberry moon, due in June 2062, make a wish on it for me. I’ll be watching and smiling.