History from a small New England town History lessons from an old house Inspiration Nature Study

Reaping a Harvest

Surely it had been bathed in the light of the Harvest Moon hundreds of times before–our little red cape that sits at the bend in the road.

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There where the lake greets the river in rolling melodies, spilling over the dam, the full moons of many Septembers have certainly rolled their bright lullabies over the humble clapboard walls and lofty shingled roofs of the unassuming home, stretched carriage house, and formidable barn.

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There, close to the marshy river bank where moose have made evening stops for centuries, iridescent moonlight has danced over the tassles of ripened corn husks many times before tonight.

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But tonight I am the one harvesting.

Reaping in the beauty of the billowing poufs of clouds as they soar through the sapphire dome overhead.

Gathering new perspectives on the beauty of night that I usually don’t traverse.

Gleaning a small insight into God’s unfathonable majesty.

I was up too late, as usual. The dogs, already asleep for hours in remote corners, stumbled to the back door when I beckoned them for their last stop outside before retiring to their cages for the evening. Having heard mention of tonight’s moon being  a Harvest Moon, I joined Maggie and Bixby in their jaunt out back. The bleached clouds, cobalt blue firmament, and ringed, colored orb begged me to linger. Maggie moonbathed by the back door, while Bixby and I ambled through the back field, down to the gardens.

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Seeing the garden vines and plants–a summer’s worth of daily effort–basking in the ancient light, thinking of the generations of farmers who had harvested their crops on this land by the light of the same Harvest Moon, I was so thankful for Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.

He provided this home for our family. Provided the warmth of the summer sun to cultivate the promise of her garden. Provided the extra light of the lingering moonlight every year at harvest time, when more light was needed in the face of shortening days and lengthening amounts of work.

The bright full moon of September has been aptly called the Harvest Moon even longer than our modest cape cod home has stood on its small wooded plot. Even longer than our meek New England town was even a thought in anyone’s mind. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox has been referred to as the “Harvest Moon” since at least 1706. Because of the elliptical path of the moon at this time of the year, the time between sunset and moonrise is much shorter than usual, meaning the night sky is illuminated much longer, giving farmers an extended harvest time during those precious days of the full moon.

For me tonight, it gave me time to garner insights into God’s breathtaking creativeness. Insights into the light he provides, so we don’t have to stumble in darkness. Insights that I will store away deep in my heart and unfold again one cold day when I need reminders of the warmth of our family’s first summer here, here in the home where God has placed us. Where he has planted us.

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

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I found this site very informative about the Harvest Moon and the upcoming Hunter’s Moon in October.

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