The last full moon of the calendar year 2022, rose on December 7th and 8th, contingent on the location and time zone of the country. As I looked up the date of the recent full moon, I came across some interesting information.
In the Northern Hemisphere the December full moon is called Long Night Moon or Cold Moon, amongst other names in cultures across regions in the higher latitudes.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the same moon is called Strawberry Moon or Honey Moon.
I wondered what we in the middle latitudes could call it? So close to the equator we are that our relationship to the sun is more pronounced and discussed, but the moon is an essential part of our rhythm—circadian and ecological—it brings us relief from enervating heat.
I began conjuring up names for the December full moon, shortlisting Early Dusk Moon or the Seed Bearing Moon, the latter because I noticed many flowers bearing seeds at this time.
However, when I went for a walk on full moon night, and gazed at the moon, awareness about another aspect of the moon and its relationship with Earth arose. What came to be seen is shared below in verse. Not just the December full moon but the full moon across months and seasons is etched now in my mind as the Tree Moon.
Some with barks laden mid to top
Some barren and brown
No leaves, no branches, except a green crown.
Crooked are some
At angles they grow
And they grow perpendicular to the ground.
Dark outlines of leaves and fronds
Branches like extended arms
Shade the moon, full and complete
Reveal its beauty, in contrast.
Alone the moon an orb of light
In a barren sky
Looks glorious when seen behind
Tree tops that rise high.
With wonder I gaze
At this unusual pair
One situated in the sky
The other rooted in earth.
Tree sap rises, I am told
On the night the full moon glows
With joy, my heart exclaims
Nothing is beautiful on its own.