I grew up in the country and spent most of my summers outdoors. I rode horses with my friends in the surrounding woods (fighting orcs, of course, with the elven army), waded through creeks to catch crawdads, splashed in the secret neighborhood swimming hole until my toes wrinkled worse than grandpa’s patooty. Sure, I miss all those childhood activities, especially when I’m holed up in an office all day, but what I miss the most are the summer evenings. We’d sleep out under the open sky, roughing it without wimpy tents or air mattresses, and stay up until that time of night when deep quiet creeps in and an otherworldly element charges the air. Without street lamps and house lights, the cosmos hold a hypnotizing brilliance. I’d stare up at the landscape of stars for hours and wonder how far away Luke Skywalker was at that very moment. Light years, I guessed. Maybe I was his other long-lost Jedi sister and somewhere in the heavens my light saber awaited…
The moon was just as mysterious, although I never really trusted the man in the moon. Too pale. Ate too much Swiss cheese. But the moon still fascinates me, so I thought I’d share a few fun moon facts.
Full moons have specific names, thanks to the Native Americans. Since we already missed the May full moon, let’s prepare for June. June is the Strawberry Moon, because…STRAWBERRIES! Nothing better than fresh strawberry shortcake, right? Europeans call it the Rose Moon, and others call it the Hot Moon. Did you know “honeymoon” came from the full moon in June? Since June lands in between the planting and harvesting season, it was a fine month to get hitched. And white flowers are thought to be inhabited by Moon spirits, who appear at full moon, especially in July, August, and September, so if you want to attract love, use Jasmine.
And did you know you can schedule life according to the moon? Here are some helpful May and June dates provided by the Farmer’s Almanac:
Best days to start projects: May 26 and June 25.
Best days for fishing (which I always encourage my husband to do for peaceful writing time): 1-9; 23-30.
Best days for dental care: June 1, 2, 28, and 29.
Want to quit smoking? Try May 20, 24 or June 16 and 21.
In case you need to cut some pounds for the upcoming swimsuit season, start your diet on May 20 or 24 for an early start or June 26 or 21.
And a few extra fun facts and superstitions:
According to a study at Bradford Royal Infirmary, the chances of being bitten by a dog are twice as high during a full moon. No wonder I’m a cat person.
It’s unlucky to look at the moon over your shoulder.
The word “lunatic” came to describe someone who was moon mad as a result of sleeping under the moonlight, or being overexposed to it.
A study by Tübingen University, Germany, claimed that police reports for 50 new and full moon cycles showed that the moon is responsible for binge drinking. See? You can
blame that empty wine jug on the full moon.
Don’t sleep under moonlight. Hippocrates claims you’ll have nightmares. I’m proof that isn’t true, but maybe that only applies to Greeks. Then again, it's entirely possibly my Dreamcaster series was inspired this way...