I was standing, staring up at the night sky one evening last week. Because we live out in relative boonies, the sky here is a beautiful, inky, blue-black velvet, and the stars seem impossibly crisp and bright. As I stared at the partial moon just above the trees, it occurred to me that I now believe I know why the Native American tribes had names for the various months that referred to something particular about that month.
We are now in the Moon of the Tiger lilly, a few weeks ago, we were in the Moon of Lupine. These are my names, not those of any particular indigenous culture. In June I saw an exceptional number of loons on lakes around here. I don't really think their population has exploded, just that I was in the right place at the right time. But, if I had the inclination to re-name June, I might choose the Moon of the Loon.
If I was feeling particularly churlish this month might get re-named, Moon of the Deer Fly. But, if I gave in to that single tiny impulse toward negativity, it might also lead to a slippery slope thereafter. February could easily slide from the Moon of Blowing Snow, to Moon of Snow-blowing, or even Moon of Most Suicides ....or, God help me, Moon of Time Shares. See what I mean? And it's all downhill from there. What's to stop me from veering off into social and political issues? December could become the Moon of Smoking Credit Cards. September--the gridiron ritual's return-- might become the Moon of Broken Heads. November could devolve into the Moon of Idiots Running.
No, it's better that I just keep it positive. Besides.....which month would qualify for Moon of Gushing Oil, when it has gone on for a full quarter of the year?