I am haunted by words. I am hungry for metaphors. I am constantly searching for ways to express the thoughts that linger in my head. I have a thirst to find meaning. I am always looking for new ways to express my voice.
As a high school English teacher I make a living out of my passion for language. I encourage my students to make connections with with the written and spoken word in various genres.
There are certain works that have haunted me throughout my life. In elementary school I was obsessed with the Trixie Belden Mystery Series. In middle school I loved anything by Madeleine L’Engle. I was especially enraptured by L’Engle’s Austin Family Series . In high school I had an affinity for Australia so I loved the The Thorn Birds and was smitten by Gone with the Wind.
As an adult Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried stands at attention in my life, as well as a myriad of poems. In fact, so many poems sift through my head that I sometimes think that my surroundings seem to mirror those evocative words. Or maybe it is because poetry forces us to slow down and pay attention. I notice things that would normally pass right by.
The month of February seems especially poignant to me. Perhaps it is because it feels like the longest month of winter (while it only stretches out for a mere 29 days). However, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the month of February often delivers below zero temperatures, and while the days feel like they are getting longer, in my heart I know we still have a long way to travel before the spring thaw.
As a teacher, I admit that I savor my weekends as a time to reflect and recharge. While I love to sleep in later than our normal 5:30 alarm, that did not happen Saturday morning because my stepson had hockey. We did not get home until close to 6 pm and as we drove back from the rink, I marveled at the moon in all of it glory cresting the sky. The next day it would be a full February moon. Snow Moon. Otherwise, known as a Hunger Moon.
It was cold on Saturday, but I couldn’t let a beautiful moon go to waste. What a spectacular sight to witness from snowshoes as the Hunger Moon filled the night with majesty.
I’m so thankful for the peace and tranquility of home. 💚
As I look back at the photos that I snapped on the weekend, I cannot help reflecting on how fortunate I was to witness it. A moon so bright that it washed everything it touched with a magical light. Luminous. Spellbinding.
It felt like an ancient ritual as I watched the moon. A moment in time stolen from my Scandinavian ancestors. A rite borrowed from my Finnish roots. Ages ago a woman my age manifested her dreams and wishes by only the light of moon. A mysterious orb of silver to quiet her anxiety and make the snow feel silent and beautiful.
What could be more poetic than the name: Hunger Moon?
I have been pondering what a wonderful writing prompt it would be for a group of high school students.
Or for any writer.
Maybe if we tell the Hunger Moon in February what we desire, our wishes come true.
It makes us feel a little restless.
It keeps us awake.
It brings an awareness of things deep within our soul.
It watches over us with a profound awareness.
It reminds us that the longer days we crave are soon to come. It gives us a taste of ethereal light that mimics sunshine. A soft glow of wonder.
It reminds me of a poem I once read by the poet Jane Cooper. As I approach my 49th birthday Cooper’s poem resonates deeply within my heart.:
The last full moon of February stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
If you have any photos or poems about the moon, please share them, or a link, with me.
May your February be full of adventure, creativity, and plenty of inspiration. Stay warm and well, my teaching and writing friends. ❤