For the first time ever I celebrated the birth of the new year with the coming of the winter solstice by attending Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Concert at the Cathedral of St. John Divine in New York City. A contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals; a time to eliminate commercialism, honor the nature around us and say farewell to the old year. I’d never paid much attention to winter (or summer) solstice and my only past encounter had been attending the Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco, Peru a number of years ago. And honestly at the time, I didn’t appreciate the full meaning behind the event.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’d lost the Christmas spirit over the years along with my New Year’s resolutions that were forgotten by February. The winter solstice experience really spoke to me and brought back the spiritual side for me as well…a rebirth of sorts of hope and goodwill. Researching more about the winter solstice brought awareness of the importance of nature which is why taking a full moon hike upon my return to the Arizona desert was top priority. But before I go there…
A friend of mine (knowing how much I enjoy the full moon – thank you Abby!) shared an app called Mooncast that shows the current phase of the moon and alerts you to the day of the full moon along with day-to-day glances of all the other phases. It even provides reminder notices with the option of having a wolf howl tone on full moon days. So guess what woke me up early my first night back in Arizona? Yep, the howl of the wolf! It scared the shit of of me. The house was so silent it just echoed throughout. A haunting howl interrupting a deep sleep. After figuring out I was in my Arizona home, my first reaction was a coyote is outside my bedroom window. But once I got my wits together, I knew the window couldn’t be open because of the cold weather. But it was so clear and loud, as if beside me. I snuggled under the covers, heart pounding, trying to figure out where the sound could be coming from. Then it dawned on me. A full moon alert from my iPad mini. So that was the start to my full moon day.
So late that evening at 7:00 p.m. I joined a number of other hikers to experience a two hour full moon hike out in the wilds of the Sonoran desert, the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area. We made our way into the desert canyon softly illuminated by the silver moon. Surrounded by silhouettes of huge saguaros and open ridgelines, the chill of the night made the whole experience magical. The capture above was the best I could do without a tripod, but it will always be a treasure to me and a reminder of a wonderful start to a new beginning.
Cross-posted this week over at Vision & Verb where women from all over the world
share the written word and wonderful photography! Come visit us!