Friday, September 20, 2002

Harvest Moon


Teardrops of the moon watered the dry furrows. Beyond my shoulder, this harvest of light is waiting for the sky to lean down and offer up the stars. Ithuriel's spears watered heaven with their tears.

William Blake climbed up an apple tree at the age of four and saw God in the branches. Blame his Irish parents. The fey words climbed aboard in their baggage to take root in Blakes orchard. Orchard. Orchard. Orchard.

The first apples. Yablika in Russian, Apfel in German, Avalon in Welsh, silver apples of the moon on the isle of Anglesey. The Druids would be busy during the equinox moon, Lugnasa, Lugh's moon but Claudius put an end to that until Blake climbed up that tree. There were no apples in Eden. Blame the monks for adding apples to the cart.

I visit the upper orchard in September. Under a full moon, I'm picking apples, their perfume bringing tears to my eyes, exquisite odor and promise. The secret whispering of leaves as if gossip and full moons weren't enough to worry about.

Something is creeping through the underbrush, a displaced bird or a rat? I love that absolute serenity of the orchard. The cockleburs in my socks will require days of patient plucking, my fingers will be lacerated, but the siren call of the orchard under moonlight is too powerful to resist.

The cats are excited by the offering of this nocturnal stroll, it's right up their alley, so to speak. They can't believe their luck. Pure cat joy. We are part of their pride and they are a part of ours. We reenact something special without meaning to, beneath the full September moon.

The Equinox, and today is my mother's birthday this harvest moon, and the October moon. Hunters moon my granny called it. My two favorite moons. She told me how, in Bantry after the hay was cut, how they worked and how they turned and turned the hay until it was dry and then they danced under the full moon, drunk on moonlight. They packed the hay ricks to the sky, until the stars watered heaven with their tears. But my mother won't live to see that harvest moon.

9/20-22/02
added 9/17

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