I took this photograph during the last full moon (12/24), the “Earth’s Renewal Moon” according to the Blackfoot Nation. This moon belongs to Waboose, the Spirit Keeper of the North and it is considered to be the first moon of the New Year; it can occur anytime during the period that extends from December 22nd until January 19th.
The Earth’s Renewal Moon is special to me because for the next three months I will be able to watch the moon rising over the South Eastern horizon from either my bathroom or living room window. The moment before she makes her ascent the mountain glows with an otherworldly silvery white light. My dove Lily B celebrates by singing to the moon each month from his window perch. He and I are both in love with the luminous white blossom that fills the night sky with such beauty that even all but the bravest stars dim under her loving gaze. I always look for the rabbit who hides with his grandmother in the moon.
I am also reminded that some Native peoples like the Haida, the Cree, and the Potawatoni call this first moon of the year “the Little Bear Moon.” Not surprisingly the Little Bear Moon corresponds to the birth of black bear cubs which occurs sometime in January. Alert and caring mothers tend their infants while snug in their underground dens, many of which are tangled in the roots of the trees these baby bears will soon depend upon for climbing.
On this first day of the new year I think about the Earth’s ability to renew herself, her animals, plants and people…
It is in renewal that hope becomes reality.
Postscript: I sent this photograph to my friend Harriet Ann Ellenberger and she suggested that I post it. So I dedicate this first offering of the year to this dearest of friends.