February full moon in Whitianga, New Zealand. On the Horizon Line with Brianna Randall on the beach.

A Blood Red March Moon

Posted on Posted in Reflections on Life

The moon is my journal and my scrapbook, the keeper of my secrets. She silently, serenely observes the moments of my life, a sentinel and supporter during the passage of time. It gives me comfort and a feeling of rightness each month to look up and find her. To mark my benchmarks in her rotations. To exclaim in surprise when she’s round and luscious yet again.

Each full moon, I try to take a mental snapshot of where I was, what I was doing, how I was feeling. That way I can flip back through the months to remind myself of who I’ve been. I spend a few moments gazing at the moon’s pocked, glowing face, putting myself back in the space of her fullness 28 days before. Sometimes I go back further, as many moons as I can picture, to trace the recent journeys of my head and heart. Often, I try to remember the full moon one year before to compare the me of then with the me of now.

Take this recent full March moon, for instance. It rose over the crowded Sunday night market on Chiang Mai’s main street. She was blood red from the smoky Thai skies, complementing the riot of bright colors and sounds pulsing around us. A foreign, exotic moon, just like the country we were standing in. I took the snapshot to pull out later on.

I remembered back, as well. February: standing on the brisk southern beach of Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, the golden moon rising out of the cold Pacific to light my solitary journey through New Zealand’s North Island. January: wading into a bathwater-warm sea to our dinghy off Fetoko, bioluminescence shooting from my feet as the crisp moon shone above. December: eating dinner with my sister aboard the sailboat, talking about the brand-new life in my womb as the moon and Orion competed for first place in a celestial beauty contest. One year ago: a full moon on the day we left our home, our friends, life as we knew it. The start of our journey west toward Pacific Islands, Polynesian cultures, sailing adventures, and expanding mental horizons.

I’ve been lucky, these past 12 moons. Privledged and proud to be exploring. But this blood red March moon reminded me to feel humble in the face of the unknown. Southeast Asia has been a tough transition for us. We moved rather abruptly from slow Pacific sailboats to fast-paced motorcycles in the world’s biggest cities. The last few weeks was an immersion back into “real life,” with its constant decisions, everyday struggles, and glaring realities. We certainly are not on a boat out at sea anymore, for better and for worse. It’s a transition that has been important, necessary and revealing. But it hasn’t been easy. This particular full moon was hard-earned, and it will stand out in my lunar life journal.

Click here to see more pictures from New Zealand (better late than never!)

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