Tonight’s the night of May’s full moon, which means it’s time to read another poem from Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons. Today’s poem is Flower Moon—How She Travels. It’s very nice, almost pagan, which surprises me a bit, as lately I’m reading a lot of her work from Why I Wake Early (check your local independent bookstore) much of which seems to have a strong Christian orientation.
It’s kind of hard not to go a little pagan at this time of year. The image of Mother Earth has so much more meaning right now, as the flowers bloom, the seedlings break through the soil, and the bushes leaf out. We’ve had a few days of warm sunshine after a good period of rain, and everything living seems to be scrambling to catch up, taking advantages of the vital ingredients they need to grow. Around the homestead, “how she travels” could be described “at breakneck speed.”
Older wisdom also holds that the moon can influence plants. The common advice is to plant root crops at the new moon, above-ground crops at the full moon. The moon certainly seems big enough these days to pull the plants skyward from gravity alone.
Unfortunately, we may not see tonight’s full moon. The gibbous moon has been rising above the Coast Range large and bright the last few evenings, but the weather forecast calls for cloudy skies, possibly even rain. We’ll see.