The Moon of the Raccoon

The waxing moon is growing larger each night and on the 3rd, February’s full moon will illuminate the sky. Most know this moon as the Snow Moon, a fitting name considering the blizzard that buried the northeastern United States last week. It has other names also inspired by the bitter cold of winter—to the Celts it is the Moon of Ice and to Native Americans it is The Moon When Trees Pop, the Hunger Moon, and the Little Famine Moon. But my favorite name for this moon is one that has nothing to do with the winter chill. It is the Moon of the Raccoon.

As darkness settles over the forest, the raccoon emerges from the warmth of his winter den. He pauses in the shadows as the wolf slinks toward the man-village in hopes of another easy meal. The raccoon is hungry, but it is not the hunt for food that has drawn him from his den. A call much stronger than hunger brings him into this cold, still night.

He waiRaccoon Moonts until the muted sound of the wolf padding through the snow disappears and then slips from the shelter of darkness to begin his search. The full moon fills the sky, casting its light through the bare branches. A sharp pop shatters the stillness and the raccoon pauses once again. But it is only the sound of freezing sap bursting from the branch of a nearby tree.

He has ventured beyond the boundaries of his usual territory when the wind shifts and he recognizes her scent, but there is another scent and it is closer. With a hiss, he turns to face his challenger and then attacks. Growls and screams fill the night air as the two raccoon boars fight for the female.

Defeated, his contender disappears into the night and the conqueror croons into the darkness. Soon the forest will be filled with new calls.raccoon moon2

The Moon of the Raccoon is a reminder that nature has begun its preparation for spring. There is hope. The snow will melt. The ground will thaw. And new life will emerge.

Giveaway

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During my search for images to use for this blog, I stumbled across the cover of Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand. In this heartwarming story, Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to stay home with his mom. To help ease his fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a secret with him—the secret of the kissing hand.

I couldn’t resist picking up a copy, well two copies actually. One for my two granddaughters and one or you!  I’ll be giving away a copy of Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand to one lucky winner. You can enter using the rafflecopter link below or commenting on this post. This giveaway will close on Valentine’s Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Brantley S.

Layers

It’s winter and everyone here in Maine is dressing in layers. My layering ritual begins with wool socks. The rest depends on the day ahead. But that ritual is about to get a lot lighter, because I’m be heading south for a few months. Leaving got me thinking about the layers of me and how those me-layers that I’ll be leaving behind will make me feel a little bare.Blog1

I think the most noticeable layer will be the husband-layer. He’s the goofy guy I’ve come home to for the almost twenty-five years and even though I’ll only be gone for a few months, I already feel a little bare.

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And then there’s the Mom-Dad-Bill-Jodi-Quinton-William layer of our family night tradition. I feel a shiver at the thought of missing that every-other-Thursday pause to connect and catch-up around the dining room table at Mom & Dad’s.

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Two years ago, a new layer was added to my life. The layer of my son, Justin’s girls, Emmah and Miah. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without their layers of love and kisses.

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The next layer is one of the toughest to shed. It’s my McWriter’s layer.  Five years ago I exposed my writing to the critiques of these talented ladies. They’ve nudged and poked my rambles into stories and become some of my closest friends along the way. I plan to cling to a scrap of this layer with the help of the internet, even though that scrap won’t provide the same warmth and comfort.blog6blog5

The last layer is that of my co-workers in the ER at Maine Geblog7neral. These doctors, nurses and techs that I’ve spent hours with, working shoulder to shoulder saving lives, wrangling drunks, and rescuing the occasional splinter have become such a part of me that the thought of stepping into a new ER and learning to trust and depend on new people is the most frightening exposure.

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It may seem that by the time I arrive in the Carolinas I’ll likely die of exposure, but don’t worry. I have layers waiting for me there. Starting with my two youngest children…

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…my sister and her family…

and my laugh-till-you-cry-friend, Jeanne.

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And then there are the layers of me that can’t be peeled away—my passion for writing, love for my family and friends, my confidence and skill as a nurse and my curiosity of the world around me. Plus, I’ll gather up some new layers along this adventure and I’ll use those experiences to weave the fabric of stories that will find their way to you!

**Featured photo credit – Jackie from Knittin’ Matters.

Enter for your chance to win your layer – – a pair of Mittlets. Congratulations to our winner– Brea B!!!

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