Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Senspiration: Moongazing

We see a full moon every 29.5 days when the sun, the earth, and the moon all move into a straight line with the earth in the middle. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, July's full moon is know as the Thunder Moon thanks to the storms that tend to pop up, and it's also known as the Full Buck Moon because male deer's antlers are full-grown this time of year. The almanac makes several recommendations for the best days of the month, considering the moon's cycle, for tasks like cutting hay and fishing.

Full moons bring an energy that affects all living things on our big blue planet. The gravitational pull from the moon is strongest when the moon is full, and thus ocean tides are at their highest during full moons. You can look up countless statistics and stories about emergency rooms being busier and animal behavior changes—underwater corals synchronize the release of their sperm and eggs, doodlebugs dig larger holes to catch prey, and lions hunt during the day more often (

I've always loved looking up to the sky and seeing a full moon, and I'm realizing in my recent endeavors to seek out and take notice of sensory-filled moments, that gazing at the moon is a rich sensory experience, an opportunity to take in my surroundings and feel the energy. I have several memories of being in special places during full moons—at the beach hearing waves lapping and feeling warm sand and breezes, in the middle of the woods in February when the earth is quiet and vegetation is sparse, or just last month, I was in Keystone, CO, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and a bright sky exploding with stars that seemed closer than usual. It's great to take in the full moon when you're in a special place, but the full moon has a way of making our ordinary everyday surroundings extraordinary. I think I enjoy sitting on the front porch glancing at the full moon listening to locusts buzz just as much as any out-of-town moongazing.

For last night's full moon, I took a group of friends to the top of the Compton Hill Water Tower, a 179-foot brick structure that encloses a standpipe that was used in the city of St. Louis's water system from the late 1800s to 1929. We climbed the 198 steps of the metal spiral staircase, breathing in the mustiness of a 119-year-old building, hearing the clunking of footsteps above and below us. At the top, we peered out through open windows in all directions, taking in the bright moon and the twinkling lights of the city all around us. Even though it was hot and stuffy on a 90-degree night in a tower with no air-conditioning, it was an energizing experience that is uniquely St. Louis. If you are in the area, I highly recommend you go to the Compton Hill Water Tower on a full moon night.

What are some sensory-filled moongazing experiences you've had?

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