The Artist Date is a dream-child of Julia Cameron. We’ve discussed her book, The Artist’s Way, and highly recommend both the book and the weekly date for anyone who wonders how to become a better writer. An Artist Date can be life-changing. It can open your creativity like nothing else. Today, watch the Super Moon rise.
I find myself sitting on a low stone wall overlooking the beach north of Flagler Avenue here in New Smyrna. I’ve been watching the Super Moon for a while. She began her ascent at 7:41 p.m., launching her slow rise from the ocean as I imagine Botticelli’s Venus would, slowly and a little shyly. The moon in June is also known as a Strawberry Moon and while I have often seen strawberry colored moons rise over the ocean, inlet and lagoon, this one shows none of that color. She climbs up out of the sea pure and silver white. The beach and the caps of the waves are radiant. From where I sit I can see a couple strolling along the tide’s edge. Some secret assignation? Or perhaps just some quiet time for parents after the children settled for the night?
The moon climbs higher. The beach and the water glow so brightly that only a few stars are visible. The wind begins to pick up, as it tends to do in the evening, bringing with it the strong smell of salt, sea grass and a trace of mangroves with the slightest hint of decay underneath—seaweed, jellyfish and other small marine creatures that were not meant to survive out of the ocean somehow ended up on the dunes and now return to their most basic components, providing food for the shore dwellers.
Under this moon I feel the pull of the tides. How could I not? Anyone who dwells on or near the ocean and observes her ways knows her moods, even more so under a full moon. Tourists rushing about during the day like fiddler crabs with coolers and boards do not feel the pull—to feel that, you have to be willing to slow down to the pulse of the ocean and the moon.
As I sit on my sea wall and watch the way the moonlight plays off the waves, I smile to think about the thousands of baby sea turtles that will be hatching in the coming months. Hundreds of nests have been found and tagged for protection. It is not unusual to walk the beach under a dark moon and discover a large female churning up the sand to make an appropriate nest for her multitude of eggs. Under a moon like tonight—full, bright and promising—the eggs will begin to hatch, and the babies, following the moonlight reflected off the water, will find their way to the ocean and out to the Sargasso Sea. From there they will catch the currents to the coasts of Africa and, eventually, back around to the beaches here in New Smyrna.
The moon is high in the sky now and she has pulled the tide out about as far as she can. The moon and tides will dance throughout the night and day, but she will always lead. I turn away now, pulled in another direction toward my bed and sleep, where I will dream of tides and turtles and the sound of the waves on the sand.
Read a poem a day, become a better poet.
In September we’re exploring the theme Tattoos.