Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31: Blue Moon

All morning at my desk I've been singing "Blue Moon" to myself... (I also played Nanci Griffith singing "Once in a Very Blue Moon" for variety.) I think I'm actually more excited that today marks the blue moon--the second full moon in a month--than I am for the turn of the year. After all, a blue moon only comes around... well, you know the saying...

Apparently the commonly accepted definition of a blue moon is not its original one, which was based on the concept that every season has 3 full moons, and if there happened to be an "extra" moon during that quarter of the year, the third one was called a "blue moon" to keep the moons and seasons in correspondence. The old definition offers a nice link to our agrarian roots, when we actually paid close attention to solar and lunar cycles and the seasons. But the current definition makes it a little easier for everyone to understand what's going on and celebrate in their own way.

An unabashed moon worshipper, I paid homage to this special full moon when I awoke in the middle of last night to see her bright white face shining through the window. Knowing of the pending storm, I figured I probably wouldn't see much of the moon tonight. And the clouds are in fact already moving in. To celebrate New Year's Eve, my husband and I will share an omakase assortment at Suzuki's Sushi Bar, and I'll enjoy some sake, rice wine traditionally served in little stoneware cups. The story goes that the great Chinese poet Li Po drowned because he tried to embrace the full moon's reflection while drunk on sake. Because it's probably not true, I can appreciate the tragic beauty of that legend, which has forever entwined the moon, poetry, and sake in my mind.

Maybe the restaurant will even offer Midnight Moon sake, to perfectly commemorate the moment.

Blue moon celebrates
turn of year, a new decade--
raise high the wine cup!

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