They say that animals are more deeply attuned to nature than humans. Animals sense natural disasters before they occur. Birds go quiet before an earthquake. Dogs whine before a thunderstorm or tornado (although it might be hard to differentiate that from their normal whining…). Forest animals head for higher ground long before the raging river waters cascade through their low-lying home range. Dogs are also trained to sense when their owners are heading toward an epileptic seizure. However, in my observation of the bipedal species, humans tend to show an attachment to the phases of the moon, and seem to be a little more free-spirited as the moon waxes toward full. In the mid 16th century, lunacy was described as insanity of an intermittent kind attributed to changes of the moon.
Recently, one of my girls had an experience with the free-spirited-ness. The moon was full on Monday. If you think back over your life, how many times has society in general seemed just a little “off” during the full phase of the moon? Her experience though showed that the effects of the moon can be positive, and lunacy may not necessarily need to have a negative connotation. This is her story, written from her perspective.
I have a tabletop fountain. The pump burned out, probably about a year ago. It has sat on its shelf since then, gathering dust and reminding me that it needs a new pump, in it’s silent dusty glare. Maybe three months ago I bought a pump, and it sat on the shelf next to the fountain, waiting for me to join the two, like chocolate and peanut butter that just couldn’t quite bridge the divide. Both great in their own right, but amazing together. Finally this past Sunday I had no excuses and decided I was going to hook up the new pump. I knew I needed to check the tubing, and I was not sure if I had the right size. I gathered the old pump, the new pump, and the old tubing up and headed down to my neighborhood farm, ranch, and garden supply store. Locally owned, it’s been in the Rogue Valley for over 80 years, and I trust the employees to give me good advice.
The weather was cloudy, cool. In the three miles it took me to drive from my house to the garden store, I witnessed three different pedestrians in three different locations acting oddly. One was singing at the top of her voice (I could hear her through the closed windows of my car). One was twirling and dancing through a parking lot, dressed in a yellow tutu. The third was arguing with himself as he walked down the street, having a very intense, very loud conversation. Not completely out of the ordinary, for a weekend. But to see three different free-spirits within three miles, that was a bit unusual.
I pulled into the parking lot and parked the car. Locked the doors and headed inside. I was greeted by a very polite young woman as I entered. I nodded and smiled, and headed to the customer service counter. There was no one there, but the sign said if that was the case to let a cashier know and they would call for someone. I went back to the cashier, the same young woman who had greeted me upon entering. I let her know that I needed assistance and she said she would call someone. I went back to the service counter and waited, mildly perusing the items on the shelves nearby. After some five minutes another young woman came up and apologized for taking so long, she had been helping another customer. I of course understood, as it was a Sunday afternoon and knew from previous experience in the store that I would get the attention I needed. I explained my situation and questions to the young woman and she told me that she knew just the person to help me. She asked me to come with her and she would find the person that could help.
We walked to the garden area of the store. The first person she wanted was away at lunch. The second and third were both with other people. She took me over to the area with the pond and fountain supplies. She showed me the tubing and we discussed possible solutions, but she told me she really did not know much about it. Finally we trailed off into idle chit chat. I told her I appreciated her help and was okay waiting by myself as I knew she needed to get back to her post. She breathed a big sigh of relief and thanked me, asked me to come find her if I did not get the help I needed soon, and headed off to help others. I waited, again perusing the items on the shelves and the beautiful green house plants all around me. Then I realized I heard singing. Quiet, so quiet I could not make out the words, but singing nonetheless. It was coming from an elfish-looking elderly woman who was choosing posies and periennials for her garden. She was dressed in violet from head to toe, and looked a bit like a morning glory among the greens and browns of the garden nursery. She sang and mumbled to herself as she chose her flowers. Glancing up, she caught me spying on her and grinned a huge toothless grin. I smiled back, laughing to myself, almost giddy with the air of freedom that seemed to surround the people I continued to encounter. I soon found myself humming along with her as she continued to sing, growing slightly louder and more confident.
Finally the gentleman who had been asked to help me was free. He apologized for the long wait and I told him it was fine, I didn’t mind as I had been well entertained. I explained my predicament and he helped me to find the pieces and parts I needed to make my new pump work with my existing fountain rocks. (I really don’t have the skills to drill a larger hole in the rocks I have, so needed to keep it simple.) I got new tubing and the proper connectors. He even helped me get everything attached, and showed me what to do in case I needed to make minor adjustments.
After thanking him for his time and assistance, I headed up to the front of the store to pay for my supplies. As I was standing in line, looking out the windows at the front of the store, I was tapped on the shoulder and felt something being thrust into my hand. Startled, to say the least as I am not used to having my personal space invaded to that extent, I glanced down to see I was being given a small plastic bag with something shiny and silvery inside. I glanced up and did a double take. A tall, thin gentleman dressed in full cowboy attire smiled back at me. His worn white Stetson hat was perched above a worn and weathered brow. His bony shoulders were covered by a fringed blue and white striped Western shirt with silver snaps and silver thread woven in the blue stripes. His faded blue jeans were tucked firmly into the tops of his broken-in brown leather cowboy boots. A red bandanna tumbled out of his left hip pocket. He had handed me a pair of beautiful, hand-crafted silver horseshoe earrings. As he stepped away from me he said, “I hope these bring you good fortune and happiness.” I stuttered my thanks as he walked away. He continued to weave his way through the line of customers, handing out similar bags to all the ladies, expressing a similar sentiment to each one. He received a similar surprised smile from each woman.
I completed my purchase, shaking my head. I smiled and hummed all the way back home.
It was not until I turned onto my street Monday night after work that I made the connection. There, hanging in the inky black sky hung a gorgeous round, white bright moon. The streetlights seemed dim in comparison. I thought back to the strange and wonderful events the afternoon before. If the full moon truly does have an effect on us, I think we could all use a little more “lunacy”. We would all benefit from its uninhibited magic. Everyone can use a little “good fortune and happiness”.