Moonlight lit the snowy landscape as I walked downhill to the henhouse. Compelled by its glow, I paused, leaned on my ski pole, and lifted my face to another blooming full moon.

The remarkably cold, still, March night settled into my bones. I prayed never to forget the date and sensation of God watching over me with His heavenly eye.

As I studied the Moon’s circumference, it seemed to have a piece missing like a chip in a saucer. How odd.

In search of an explanation about a “chipped” full moon, I stumbled on an internet article by journalist Leada Gore discussing the Worm Moon, Spring’s full moon.

“While most people associate the Worm Moon with the time in spring that earthworms start to appear in the warming soil…NASA offers another explanation, saying the name came from southern Native American tribes due to the ‘earthworm casts that appear as the ground thaws,'” Ms. Gore wrote.

With the resurrected file from my astronomy class of fall 1996 in hand, I searched for mention of a Worm Moon in my professor’s notes.

Nada.

However, on this Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024, my class notes recall some interesting facts about the Moon and its effect upon humans.

For instance, that “the Moon pulls more strongly on the Earth than it does on water” is said to explain why more human babies are born on a full Moon than any other time of the month. Although I cannot vouch for birthdates in my family on the exact date of a full Moon, several of our birthdates come within a day or two.

Perhaps that’s one reason for my attraction to the lunar light, one of seven heavenly bodies visible to the naked, human eye. My class remarks also remind me that Galileo “was the first person to point a telescope toward the heavens and thus the first man to see the mountains and craters on the Moon.”

Mountains on the moon? I cannot remember seeing mountains July 20, 1969, when I watched commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin land the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon.

That day, I sat in a rented, refurbished garage with college friends in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, the last summer of my life as a single woman. We sat stunned to watch two men walk on the Moon. And of all glorious and wonderful achievements, they returned to Earth to tell their story.

My humble history with the Moon began naturally as a teenager laying on the lawn on a hot, summer night, looking up to the Moon and stars, dreaming. An escape from my crowded house, I took Sweetie, my Cocker Spaniel, to the backyard to stargaze.

Dear Reader, when I walked down to the henhouse tonight, clouds shrouded the Moon. However, if I awake at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning to the pull of the Moon, I’ll bathe my face in its silvery radiance, look for the chip in the rim.

I’ll dream of mountain moonwalking.

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail.com