There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

twilight moon

THE  YEAR  I was born (1961), the song "Moon River" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was Audrey Hepburn's theme song in her role as Holly Golightly in the the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" adapted from the Truman Capote novel of the same name. I remember singing that song out loud when I was a little boy. I knew the lyrics by heart. Johnny Mercer wrote them using word imagery inspired by his childhood in Savannah, Georgia, which resonated deeply with this Southern boy. I grew up in a house on a bluff across from the Coosa river in Alabama and dreamed of "crossing it in style, someday."

A  FITTING end to summer and beginning of the autumnal equinox this year was the Super Harvest Moon. Usually, the Harvest Moon is the closest full moon to beginning of the fall season, but this year it actually coincides with the changing of seasons, making it "Super." It was 1991 when this last happened. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun set on the Western sky while the full moon rose opposite to it in the Eastern sky, creating a magical twilight that was illuminated by the sun and the moon at the same time, hence the name "Harvest Moon." It was named such because the farmers could harvest their crops by the light reflected by the moon from the sun. My photo below was taken after the moon had risen in the sky. I didn't make it to the park in time to see the gigantic, low-to- the-horizon Harvest Moon, which is due to a perceptual effect called the Moon illusion. Even so, as fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere, spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere.

HAVING  REDISCOVERED one of my all-time favorite tree decorations in storage a few weeks ago—a large hand-blown amber mercury glass moon face ornament—I photographed it in its singular beauty with a small branch from the large evergreen in the photo of the full moon below. I had never encountered this beautiful evergreen in a park I've been to on numerous occasions. Actually, I had a completely different blog post planned, but I felt this event had some sort of special significance.  

ACCORDING  TO my friend who is a psychic and astrologer, Cathy Burroughs, "this [lunar event] is an earth-shaking combination with the Sun and Saturn in Libra, Pluto and the North Node of Life Path in Capricorn, the South Node of past life gifts in security-minded Cancer, together with Full Moon in Aries with Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces is enough to tear us apart—hopefully to be reassembled in accordance with our higher evolutionary path." I don't know enough about astrology to make complete sense of all that, but it sounds like something quite out of the ordinary. According to Cathy, "it's a perilously, mercilessly rocky ridge around this bad boy."  

HERE'S  HOPING all this upheaval still signifies a fruitful harvest from the abundance the universe holds for all of us. And with the rarefied light reflected back gloriously by the full moon, this year's holiday magic begins!

MAN IN THE MOON | (Top) This beautifully evocative amber mercury glass ornament was hand blown and is quite large (about 5 1/2 inches in diameter). It was distributed by Department 56. I've had this ornament for well over a decade—it has always seemed to me to have such a serene personality and its face always reminds me of "my Huckleberry Finn" (Lowell, in the Polaroid picture at right, who lured me from my home state of Alabama to my life in Atlanta). Never failing to make me smile, we always hung this ornament on the trees we had together. Talking to him tonight at dinner, I came home afterward and photographed it. Lowell and I are still friends after a 6-year relationship back in the 90's. Being such a nester, I am still in Atlanta, but he—ever the adventurer—is now living in San Carlos, California with partner Frank.

TWILIGHT TREE | (Above) This evergreen tree frames the Super Harvest Moon after it has risen in the sky at twilight on September 22, 2010 at Freedom Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

photography, collecting and styling by Darryl Moland,
photo of Lowell by unknown photographer 


  1. I love your moon ornament Darryl! It's so unusual. The super harvest moon must have been a sight to behold, and I hope that it does mean good things on the horizon.

  2. Love this post! Keep it up Darryl.