COMMENTARY

To the moon and back

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High school football stadiums won’t be shining the only lights this Friday. If the evening sky is clear, football fans and anyone who ventures out for a look is sure to see the annual harvest moon.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox (the first official day of fall). In most ways, a harvest moon is like any other full moon, except that it rises earlier in the evening.


Maybe you can remember a time before ag-equipment could “run like a deer,” and was more the speed of an ornery mule. Tractors and harvesters lacked many bells and whistles (and lights). Farmers and their crew worked sunup to sundown…unless moonlight illuminated their work in the fields, hence the name “harvest moon.”


Growing up in a baseball home, I’ve seen The Natural more times than my fair share. I’ve heard every baseball man in my family groan the famous quote of that New York Knight’s manager. “Should’ve been a farmer,” was the lament of every long night under the bright lights.


One of my favorite getaways during our years in professional baseball was during a two day All-Star break. Wade was playing for the Erie Seawolves, a northern Pennsylvanian team about two hours from Niagara Falls. I was working nine hours south as an emergency nurse in Kentucky. After having been apart for weeks, we spent the two day vacation walking up, down, and behind one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World as a way to celebrate our own growing little wonder. We were expecting our first child, and this visit to Niagara Falls was our “Babymoon.”


Cumberland Falls, located in Corbin, Kentucky, is known as the “Niagara of the South.” According to the State Park website, it is a 125-foot curtain of falling water in which one can regularly see a moonbow or “lunar rainbow.” It’s a reoccurring phenomenon not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere where a rainbow is produced by moonlight verses sunlight refracting light in water droplets.


I’ve never seen a moonbow. I haven’t anticipated a harvest moon as much as I have the end of some baseball seasons. I have, however, definitely noticed a correlation between full moons and emergency rooms full of loony…and outside of appreciating the natural wonders of creation, honeymoons and babymoons remain my favorite.


Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter, and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. Her first novel, The Bird and the Bees, is a Christian contemporary romance set to be released in April 2020. Visit her at wordslikehoney.com.

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