Full moon marker

Sunset with a full moon at Camp Figtree Lodge, South Africa
South African sunset with full moon
Photo © John Matheson

Most celestial movements pass me by. I generally don’t remark on whether Venus or Mars are visible. I’ve never stayed up late to watch a meteor shower. I couldn’t tell you when there might be a comet passing by.

But I do notice a full moon.

I’m not drawn to full moons for astronomical, tidal, or astrological purposes, I simply like that they help me remember; I often recall where I’ve been for past full moons and who I’ve been with.

Many, many full moons ago I was in South Africa with my brother. He took phenomenal photos (like the one on the right) of the full moon while we were staying at Camp Figtree Lodge. Every full moon since then has helped me remember that incredible trip and made me think about our adventures together.

Fewer full moons ago, my husband and I vacationed in Maui with good friends. On the night of a full moon we walked back to our condo after dinner and my husband snapped a couple photos of the sky. Sadly, none of those pictures turned out, but seeing the moon at it’s fullest still brings back memories of that trip -and reminds me that I’m lucky to have such friends.

Full moon in Neuss
Full moon in Neuss, Germany

And then there was the full moon of the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot. I participated in a meditation to mark the full moon at Sat Nam (the forerunner to Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre) before going to a friends’ to watch the last part of the hockey game. When I see a full moon now, I remember the foreboding sense that something was coming and the shock of seeing the first plumes of smoke coming from downtown. It makes me think of the bad behaviour that can be spawned from angry drunks and remember that sometimes bad things happen to good cities.

Thankfully, not all full moon meditations have been followed by such dramatic events! I’ve participated in many such meditations at Bound Lotus, including a few with my dog Sofie, and the full moon brings back those grounding experiences and makes me miss the welcoming community at the studio.

I also like thinking that no matter where people I love are (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, London, Berlin, Beijing, or anywhere else), they may also be looking up at the full moon – seeing the same thing I am.

Rather sappily, it reminds me of that song from that mouse movie. (A quick search reveals that the song is Somewhere Out There  from An American Tail.)

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight.

When the full moon comes out later tonight, I’ll be in Paris with my husband and our dog. Despite all the glittering lights, I’m sure I’ll find a few moments to look up at the sky – to think of full moons past, to remember the amazing people I’ve shared them with, and to dream of those to come.

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