Esbat Moon

esbat moonI stepped out this evening to prepare to gather firewood. As I stood upon the covered deck overlooking the Elfwood, the air had that perfect sharpness of the time exactly between winter and spring. There was just enough bite in the cold to make you feel alive, just enough winter in it to feel fresh, just enough spring to bear the promise of magic and life. And with the sun less than half an hour til falling behind the west ridge, there was just enough daylight to offer the promise of a haunting night.

I sharpened the chainsaw and headed out to the cutting site and worked til the gloaming fell and passed, and with its passing came a silver shining in the eastern forest; a magnificent full moon that wanted to swallow the eastern sky in quicksilver light, piercing and brilliant, sharp and clean as the last bite of Old Man Winter. I paused in my work of hauling the logs down the hill and across the brook and knew, first and foremost in that moment, that here in the heart of Nature’s raw and elegant beauty, that I was alive. And the forest knew my name. And I knew her’s. She is Enchantment.

I arrived home well past dark, and the girls were just setting out from the cottage to go milk the goats in the barn, and ensure they were snug in their stalls for the night, and Natalia, now sixteen, came dashing over to me. “Dad! Did you see the moonrise? Have you ever seen anything like it?” She reveled in the rising moon as much as I, and I knew then, too, that I have raised my children to understand what is important in life. The true treasures, the true meaning, the true life . . . it has always been free for the taking. Nature has always been willing to share. The truly good things . . . they are beyond the door, in an enchanted forest beneath an esbat moon.

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