Harvest moon

[Jan. 14] It takes awhile to vacuum the little pieces of paper in the office left over from the shredder. I try to get some joy out of using the leaf-blower on the deck, but individual leaf stems and bird seed are stuck between the floorboards.

In this last cleaning of the rental house, I’m glad I can afford the help of Amanda, a cleaner who is hard-working, thorough, and cheerful.

Still, it’s a very long day. There are so many boxes that I have to make three trips carting it to Azalea. We make a run to the recycling center, Xena crammed to the roof with trash, paper and boxes.

We stop for Mexican take-out, and eat on the deck. By the time we are ready to close the garage door for the last time, it’s quarter to nine. I’m so, so tired.

As I turn Xena on one of the sharp, steep turns going up the mountain, Tom and I  exclaim at the view – WOW!

A huge moon hangs over the valley with an intense orange glow.

It’s no wonder people worshipped the moon as a god, Tom says. The light seems supernatural.

Science solved this mystery many moons ago. The thicker atmosphere near the horizon, when the moon is rising, filters out blue and transmits red, making the yellowish moonlight look orange.

I’ve always called any orange moon a “harvest” moon, but I learned today that the term correctly applies to the fall equinox moon. Farmers could extend their harvesting hours into the evening because the moonlight was so bright and it immediately follows the sunset.

It seems fitting for this long day.

The moon follows us all the way up the mountain. Enormous. A guiding light. Science or no, I feel like a beneficent God is smiling upon our move back to Azalea.

We unload the car and stand on the new deck. The orange color has faded with moonrise, but the light washes us with reflected power from the sun.

We are here, and the light has followed us.

A harvest of beauty. A harvest of home.

Today’s penny is a 2010, when this post was written to explain the harvest moon. I’m glad it was still up in 2017, so that I could find it.