The winter Silas was about 8 or 9 (I think) and Zeb around 4, I came across a book called When The Moon is Full by Frances Hamerstrom. In the book Frances describes full moon walks with her kids over the course of a year. What a beautiful way to spend time together discovering the night I thought. The awe and mystery that the nighttime held for her children was contagious. We decided to keep a similar journal of the 13 full moons that would grace our skies that year. The boys were thrilled with idea of a special walk each month, staying up late and exploring the mysterious nighttime.
Hours before going out Silas would get the journal ready pack a snack and wait by the window. By the time it was dark enough to go out Si and Zeb would be vibrating with a mix of fear, intrigue and pure joy. Wondering each month if this would be the moon that we might run into the bear..

The boys know every inch of our land. They’ve spent their days running carefree through the forests and pastures but at night things seemed different. Bigger, quieter… they would stay close to me on these walks-their senses perked.The familiar sounds of the other children on the farm were gone. The hoot of an owl or distant cry of a coyote would send a shiver of excitement down their spines. In the stillness you could hear the river water flowing over the rocks and the wind whistling through the trees. After a few minutes the boys would settle in…finding a quiet peacefulness to the walks. Taco and Montana loved these moonlit adventures just as much as the kids and would always tag along.

The journal is worlds away packed in a dusty box up in the barn…but, I think we recorded somewhere around 9 or 10 of them.  We would write down the basics, month, time, date, the Native American moon name. When we stepped outside our intention was to be very quiet listening to the sounds of nature. What did we hear? A coyote, a bull, raindrops? What did we see? A raccoon, opossum or firefly? A tree branch casting a spooky shadow over the pond? Could we see the moon or were there clouds? What was the general weather condition and temperature? What did we feel, what was the best part….?

A few of our full moon walks that year still stand out in my mind… cold winter moons, accompanied by a thermos of hot coco the path lit with a paper lantern. One of the favorites that year was in Ketchum when we hiked up to the top of  “sled hill” and watched the moon rise over Dollar Mountain. Another favorite was the summer solstice moon where we found the river bank lit up with fairy lights courtesy of some hard-working glow bugs.

It feels right to bring back “official” full moon walks here in Bali where the lives and rituals of the  Hindu people move with the moon like the tides. They keep their own lunar calendar, honoring her with offerings of flowers, food, holy water and sometimes a bird or duck each month.  What we will see and hear…where will the full moons of 2011 take us….

My goal is to get out and observe all 12. We will write about the sights, sounds, weather and overall “feelings” of our walks each month. There will be a three day window we can go out.  The day before, the day of or the day after the full moon.

So whose with us? I thought it would be great to have others join in on our walks recording your thoughts, describing what things you see where ever you are in the world! If you want to join in let me know it would be fun to post every one’s experiences. Seeing the similarities and differences.  This is a great way to create a special night each month and spend some quiet time together. The first full moon of the year is here so grab some mittens or a rain poncho, your flip-flops or your snowshoes and enjoy the beautiful January Wolf moon.

Here’s is the schedule for the next 12 moons:

Full moon. Image credit: NASAFull moon. Image credit: NASA 

Full Moon for January, 2011

  • January 19, 21:21

Full Moon for February, 2011

  • February 18, 08:36

Full Moon for March, 2011

  • March 19, 18:10

Full Moon for April, 2011

  • April 18, 02:44

Full Moon for May, 2011

  • May 17, 11:09

Full Moon for June, 2011

  • June 15, 20:14

Full Moon for July, 2011

  • July 15, 06:40

Full Moon for August, 2011

  • August 13, 18:57

Full Moon for September, 2011

  • September 12, 09:27

Full Moon for October, 2011

  • October 12, 02:06

Full Moon for November, 2011

  • November 10, 20:16

Full Moon for December, 2011

  • December 10, 14:36