When I was very little I wanted to be an astronaut. I fell asleep at night imagining me in a spacesuit outside a rocket ship. The Earth from up there was green and brown and you could see clouds floating around down there, through my big helmet visor. Years later when I saw the Big Blue Marble it is, reflected in Alan Shepard's visor, it was a surprise. Part of me expected it would be green and brown. But most water was brown to me; I lived by the NYC harbor in the 60s.
Anyway, my first treasured book (I still own it) was Tom Corbett's Trip to the Moon. It was a 50s thing. Tom Corbett was a handsome astronaut. Brewster Rockit but brainy. And he was very kind to children. The space program was huge and miraculous when I was a kid. Every kid I knew was into the space thing. Some of us wanted to be astronauts. After a while I stopped saying it because every single person I said it to said, "Girls can't be astronauts!" and laughed. Every single person. When people say the world hasn't changed, I think of that.
So that's where my love affair with the moon began. If you pay attention you can see how the moon affects weather. And we all know about the tides. The moon is a magnet in the sky for us, gently shaping and moving our world. An amazing part of our system. It fascinates me.
And then I began reading moonlore when I was in junior high. Native Americans gave the full moons names which I find very cool:
Around every 2.5 years there are 13 full moons in a year. The 13th moon is called the Blue Moon, and falls as a second full moon within a calendar month. Hence the saying, "Once in a blue moon" which refers to something rarely happening. But there are about 4 times a century when we get 2 months in a year with 2 full moons. This most often occurs in Januarys and Marchs, leaving February without a full moon at all. And I've never heard anyone name that odd 13th moon that is a second Blue Moon. I nominate it be called Tom Corbett Moon.
Here's a Blue Moon calculator:
Over the years and cultures the moon has been perceived as either a man or a woman. Jackie Gleason's face fit in pefectly. Personally, I think the moon's female. A big round woman sitting cross-legged and laughing, in a big white dress with long white hair.
Tonight and tomorrow the Cold Moon is full. Give the Lady a smile.
I'll Fly Away
23 hours ago