Walking By The Light Of The Supermoon

This week’s supermoon gave us a chance to appreciate our farm in a new light.

by Rachael Dupree
PHOTO: Angela Pace/Flickr

There are many ways I feel unequipped to be a farmer. Having been flung into our situation by the fate of the universe, Mr. B and I are grappling with big decisions on how to move forward on our little piece of land given the time and resources currently available to us. But there’s one thing that we hope to never lose sight of no matter how much we get tripped up on the logistics of land management and cultivation: how appreciative we are of the nature around us.

This week’s supermoon gave us a new perspective on our land that we haven’t really delved into yet. Taking evening or early morning walks lit solely by the light of the moon, we saw our woodlands and fields in a new way. We felt the way the ground supported us. We better heard the sounds around us. And we stood in awe that there’s more to our farm than just the land—there’s a whole body of celestial beings hovering over us.

Tuesday night, we rushed home from our jobs in town in time to watch the sunset and the moon rise, a rare treat this time of year. I’m always a sucker for a sunset, and have been as long as I can remember, delighting in the bright hues that paint the sky and how quickly the sun seems to move as it slips under the horizon. Witnessing the rise of the supermoon that night was just as moving.

After seeing the sun tuck in to the west, we headed to a spot in our back field that we cleared specifically for stargazing. Mr. B and I sat for a few minutes, enjoying the breadth of the nighttime sky on this particularly clear night, when we caught a glimpse of a light blazing behind the trees to the east. The orangish glow crept over the horizon, slowly gaining luminosity until the moon, in its entirety, revealed itself. It was big, it was bright, and it seemed almost otherworldly—like its presence has more power than we give it credit for.

This month’s supermoon is the closest full moon since 1948, and it will be 18 years until it happens again. There’s a philosophy of farming by the moon that has captured my interest, and this supermoon is a reminder that when we get caught up in what to do next with our land, we can be looking to nature for guidance. According to farm folklore, this last phase of the moon cycle is ideal for taking out weeds and cutting timber, two of the very things that have been occupying our brains as we’ve walked the land the past couple weeks.

I hope that among the season’s final work of putting up the remainder of the harvest and putting your gardens to bed, you also had a chance to walk by the light of the moon and savor the beauty of the farm at night.

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Thanks to Angela Pace on Flickr for capturing the beauty of this week’s supermoon. I took my camera out to document the moon myself, and the battery promptly died on me. Let’s be honest, though, the photo I would have taken wouldn’t have looked half as good.

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