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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sugar(ing) Moon

Many cultures name the full moons. The name I most often see associated with the March full moon is "worm moon." While worms may begin to become active or to be noticed in March in other places, here in the Northlands, they are still asleep deep underground, under (today) a deep white blanket.

Some celebrate this as "the last full moon of Winter" ...which I truly understand...

Plowing out after the snowfall, March 13, 2014
No, Winter – Old Man –
you won’t crush me!
Try to bury me with
your white mantle!
Like the squirrel,
I have stores beyond your reach.
Make all creatures hole up (to die?)
I have a shovel! Now
the deer walk on human trails to feed.
Freeze the water!
I have fire,
and you give in abundance
the stuff of drink.
Fade Earth’s colors
to sap my spirit!
I have paint, and threads and Summer,
captured in celluloid and glass.
No, Old Man,
though you try your best –
and may claim others –
you won’t have me!

       Jj Starwalker   3/7/93
and give thanks for surviving the season. But to me, this is the Sugar Moon.

Those who have trees of sufficient size have tapped their maples and the sap is running. We have had what we call the Sugar Snow, a storm which temporarily interrupts the awakening trees and sends the sap to earth again, which only serves to prolong the surgaring season by delivering a longer run of sap for the taps, the boilers and eventually for syrup for our pancakes.

One might even look at the Sugaring moon as a metaphor. Even as the snow continues to blanket the earth, and even to fall in great abundance, the calendar moves relentlessness on towards spring. We see it in the lengthening days and periods of sun and in the above freezing temperatures that periodically shrink the snow pack, thus sweetening our days with thoughts of emerging flowers, returning birds and busy days of starting seeds for later transplant.

So, hail, Sugar(ing) Moon! Hail to the late snows of the turning of the seasons and to the slow awakening of the trees. We welcome the increased production of eggs, with their bright sunny yolks. And give thanks for the sweetness of life and having wintered well.