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Friday, August 14, 2015

Blue Moon Mania

Published in Kodiak Daily Mirror on August 5th, 2015
By Zoya

Last Friday night was all sorts of blue moon crazy.

July started with a full moon and ended with a second full moon, which is called the blue moon. There were national headlines in newspapers all about the blue moon and astrology blogs were buzzing with excitement over it. Some astrologists say that the blue moon brings out angst, anxiety or tension in people. Others argue the opposite, that it has no affect on people.

It seems that Kodiak was definitely struck with a case of blue moon fever. Several friends spoke of conflict and misunderstanding with others. Another friend spoke of deep reflection on recent losses, prompted by seeing the moon. I went to an art opening that evening only to discover out I had the date wrong. All dressed up and nowhere to go with the blue moon rising.

Who knows — it could be coincidence, but it sure did seem that people felt out of sorts.

Also on Friday night was a gathering of people to watch Sandor Katz speak.

Mr. Katz is a fermentation expert and author who wrote “The Art of Fermentation.” (In full disclosure, I didn’t go. I was in a state of disappointment after discovering I had the date wrong on the art opening. But several friends went to the presentation, so I got the details.)

Mr. Katz spoke to a full house at the library on his experience working the fermentation process. He gave a presentation on his experience with the process of making fermented food — the birth and life of micro biomes; a process with a huge list of health benefits for the much talked about intestinal flora. He talked about the fermentation process that people have utilized for thousands of years, in so many cultures all over the world. Not only is fermenting food a health benefit, but also it helps preserve food for months without refrigeration.

In this world of social media and being electronically plugged in, people are starved for re-connection to the Earth. Electronics and instant everything does nothing for truly recharging our zest for life. I’d argue it does the opposite. It pulls us farther away from our true organic selfs and can leave us feeling drained and alone.

The appreciation of these greater Earth forces can take form in so many ways. It can be in the form of making homemade sauerkraut or kimchi or beer; the microbiomes are born and work their magic to create food. Or in the form of fascination and appreciation of moon cycles; recognizing the potential power of their forces on people, farming, tides, etc. Or gardening, digging into the soil and watching life grow. Or picking berries; the process of harvesting and then using them in yummy creations. The list is endless.

Or, it could be in simply appreciating the slower pulse on which Mother Nature functions. Where the Earth changes oh so slowly. Her pulse is slow and to appreciate it, we must in turn slow down.

My kids and I went berry picking for more than an hour last weekend. I picked some and laid in the moss some with the sun on me. It was a beautiful slow pace and I was grateful to not be in a rush. When we returned home, I spent several hours listening to music and making a pie with the fruits of our labor. It had been years since I’d made a crust and I was grateful to the berries for bringing me back to this buttery flakey goodness.

Whether it be on the celestial or cellular level or somewhere in between; it’s about finding elements of the Earth that captivate us. Those elements that bring us wonder and engage us in our earthly existence.

(Oh, and mark your calendars. The next blue moon is in January of 2018.)

Kodiak resident Zoya Saltonstall is a mother of two and a physical therapist. She loves black labs and chocolate.

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