once in a blue moon…

Do rare and magical things really happen “once in a blue moon”?

There are varying origins of the term “blue moon.” The most rare term comes from the lunar calendar. Once nearly every three years, an “extra” lunar cycle results in an “extra” full moon known as a “blue moon.” These celestial events are rare since there are normally 12 lunar cycles each year of about 29.5 days, which leaves 11 extra days per year, which is why it takes almost three years to form a full “extra” cycle.

Another definition traces its origins to an old farmer’s almanac and refers to an “extra” lunar cycle in one of the four seasons (which normally have just three full moons). Other popular lore says that when a single month includes two full moons (which while uncommon is not rare), the second one is referred to as a “blue moon.” (By the way, anyone else interested in skywatching? I don’t call myself “luna sea” for nothing…)

Indeed, rare magical things can happen once in a blue moon. Twelve years ago, in June 1996, there was a full moon on the first and last days of the month. The Amazing M and I were married under the blue moon on June 30, 1996, in an ancient redwood grove not far from the Pacific Ocean. 

We originally thought we’d get married over summer solstice, but then fell in love with The Spot and selected a new date, which coincided with the “blue moon.” We thought it was “in the stars,” a sign. The site was tucked into several acres of majestic redwoods and backed up to a state park. There were two main guest houses for our families and close friends, and a cozy rustic cabin for us. We all spent the weekend together in the woods, bonding, laughing, and sharing meals, wine and honey mead made by a friend. 

That morning, M and I awoke early and parted ways, and we each took a meditative walk through the forest ferns and wildflowers. The morning sun filtered through the towering trees, preparing to rise high above. The air was clean and fresh with the scent of the woods. It was just so beautiful. In this peaceful setting, we could remove ourselves from the frenzy of The Event. We had worked so hard to plan a special day, and we were determined to enjoy it. 

It was HOT — record highs, even in the shade — very unusual for the time and place. A long path (marked with satin ribbons by friends and family) led to a small majestic redwood grove which formed a natural cathedral. The trees towered above a wooden platform stage, which was surrounded by half-circle seating (like a little ampitheatre at a summer camp). Flowers were everywhere, musicians played softly, sage was burned, and rose petals graced the platform thanks to a little cousin (my first niece was still in utero). 

I was led down the path by my two older brothers, who held me on either side and told naughty jokes to make me laugh while we waited in the heat. Ahead of us, my cousins escorted my grandmother, and ahead of them walked my mom with her husband, M’s parents, and M. I felt a little nauseous (someone gave me some mint water). I was floating. M actually looked high, and he was beginning to sweat. Did I mention it was HOT? 

Our ceremony began with a flute invocation and included poetry by ee cummings, Pablo Neruda and Khalil Gibran, with “Here Comes the Sun” on acoustic guitar. We wrote our own vows and created rituals involving family members. I felt like I was outside my body, but with my feet rooted so firmly to the ground that I was ever-present. The whole experience was surreal. 

By the time we got to our vows, my heart was swelling and about to burst. M went first. He poured his heart out in words, his eyes radiating love, tears streaming down his face, and I started crying. My turn. Deep breath. I had written something but just could not read it. I remembered the beginning and end and muddled through the rest. And then our guests started… at first it was just some random sniffles, but it spread and grew louder, more uncontrollable. By that point, I was weeping. Heart in hand, just take it! I had a perfect view of my grandmother, who was beaming as she too wiped tears from her eyes. Tears of joy all around. We were a mess — a beautiful blissful mess. 

That joyful day, under those magnificent majestic redwoods in that sacred grove, my moon and sea joined his sun and earth and we created a new wonderful world together as we celebrated our union.

Happy 12th anniversary, honey — we’ve been through hell and back and we still find new ways to keep on growing together. You are my greatest gift. I love you more than ever, always. 

“Where love reigns, the impossible may be attained.”

Just one more, I can’t resist, from last year (also a “blue moon”!) — bread pudding made from pain au chocolat, I kid you not, chocolate croissants! Ridiculous. Seriously.

This has been an extra special edition of Show and Tell with Mel. Check out this week’s circle time fun, or visit the archives.

~ by luna on June 28, 2008.

40 Responses to “once in a blue moon…”

  1. Happy Anniversary.

    D and I were also married during this blue moon. 12 years ago Monday.

  2. Happy anniversary! Sounds absolutely beautiful. 🙂

  3. Happy Anniversary! The most stunning wedding I ever attended (other than mine of course, ahem) was held in a grove of Redwoods in CA. Gorgeous photos. And here I’m a bit weepy just reading of it.

  4. Here I sit with tears in my eyes from this beautiful recollection of your wedding day. We were also married outside 12 years ago (hot like fire), but it was in our backyard surrounded by family and friends. Everyone cried, but I think it was mostly because Frank and I were struck with a wicked fit of the giggles in the middle of our vow exchange. Still, it was a magical day and reading about your love exchanged back then makes me think again of the love Frank and I exchanged 12 years ago. You and M share such a special love – happy anniversary!

  5. Happy anniversary! (Mine is coming up shortly as well.)

  6. I’m totally crying — that sounds (and looks!) just *so* beautiful. Happy anniversary!

    And congratulations on the new steps you are taking in the process of building a family! I’ve been reading but not commenting much anywhere. I’m so happy for you and hope this journey brings you nothing but joy.

  7. I love you too, Luna. Thank you for 12 wonderful years of marriage, for the 18 years of my life that I have been blessed to share with you, for being my best friend, my soul-mate and my teacher. Happy Anniversary!
    And thank all of you out there for making me feel so welcome and extending your healing support to me. I’ll be back! (sorry for the cheesy movie quote).

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your wedding story. It is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Congratulations to you and the amazing M – your love makes this world a better place.

    I am thinking of you as you take the first steps in your new path.



  9. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderfully magical wedding that must have been.


  10. What a wonderful Show and Tell. It sounds like your wedding day was just a dream. And how serene and peaceful it must have been having it at the location you chose. At one with nature….

  11. OMG what an AWESOME post! Had me teary eyed, what a BEAUTIFUL ceremony you had! I too was married in 1996. DH is an avid skywatcher, loves everything to do with the sky. He observes from our roof here in Egypt and is waiting to lug that BIG telescope out into the desert one of these to observe at night. Thanks for sharing your magical day with us, I felt like I was there.

  12. “my moon and sea joined his sun and earth”

    I loved reading about your special day!

    I can tell we’re going to really get along well.

  13. What an absolutely beautiful and moving post, not to mention the beautiful photographs that accompany it!

    I raise my glass to you in honour of the last twelve years and wish you many, many more!

  14. WOW! what a wonderful day! Happy Anniversary! Thank you for Sharing your day sounds wonderful.

  15. Happy Anniversary and what a beautiful post. Sounds like it was a fantastic wedding.

  16. Happy anniversary – that was awesome. Just awesome.

  17. What a joy it was to read your wedding story. So dreamy! I cannot wait to visit California again and be among the redwoods. Such a special place.

    I’ve got this recording of Nina Simone singing “Here Comes the Sun”, and it always fills me with the strangest mix of intense happiness and this strange kind of sadness. I always imagine playing it for my child — whenever he/she manages to finally come along. Somehow.

    Happy anniversary!

  18. Your wedding day sounds absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

    Happy anniversary, Luna and M! The strength of your love for each other shines through in your writing. I wish you nothing but joy as you celebrate the past 12 years and begin to look forward to the next 12.

  19. Happy Anniversary! Your wedding sounds beautiful and special, everything a wedding day should be!

  20. Happy Anniversary! What a magical wedding you had!!

  21. It sounds like the most amazing wedding day, so personal and intimate. Happy anniversary and congratulations.

  22. Happy anniversary, sweetie. It sounds like it was an amazing wedding.

  23. May you have dozens more years together! What a perfect wedding (from the little I know) for the two of you. Got to love those redwoods.

  24. Congratulations. Beautiful post and beautiful pictures.

  25. Thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful day!

  26. Happy Anniversary. What a special show and tell indeed.
    Thanks for sharing.

  27. Belated happy anniversary from across the pond! (Getting very different weather in the British Isles 😉

  28. I still can’t get over that YOUR GUY is also a chiropractor?! Not sure if I previously disclosed that is why we lived in Mountain View from 1999-2002, so Dr. J could go to Chiro School in San Jose?!

    Spooky coincidence!!!

  29. Happy slightly belated anniversary! Turns out we got married exactly a week before you, and now, thanks to you, I know a remarkable fact about the month we got married– two full moons.
    The story and the photos are just gorgeous. Sounds like a beautiful day and so deeply meaningful and memorable. Thank you for letting us in on it, a little.

  30. Happy Anniversary! Your wedding sounds absolutely amazing – beautiful! I really admire you for going for something so personal and right for you, speaking as someone who ended up with a rather traditional wedding largely to satisfy the wishes of others. And chocolate bread pudding – the best pudding ever!

  31. Your wedding sounded magical, the way it should be!! I love redwoods too, by the way.

  32. […] our 12th anniversary last month, I shared with you the story of our beautiful wedding. I didn’t tell you much about the man who officiated our ceremony, but he was a wonderful and […]

  33. […] roses. (If you can see it, the photo in back of M and I in the redwoods was taken the morning after our wedding!) Hey, maybe that makes this […]

  34. […] This photo was taken this afternoon as we strolled through a beautiful redwood forest not far from our home. The forest holds a special place in our hearts for so many reasons. I have always found it to an awe-inspiring and powerful place  – sacred, majestic, healing. This particular forest is just a few miles from where we were married. […]

  35. […] year for our anniversary, there will be no lost weekends in Vegas, no European getaways, no fancy dinners out, and no other […]

  36. […] (My nana was also there in spirit because I wore her bracelet that I haven’t worn since our wedding.) Baby J fell asleep in her carrier while we shared a lovely meal and a mimosa toast. Afterwards, […]

  37. […] sacred vows in a majestic grove of  ancient redwoods, in the shade of the blazing hot sun, under a blue moon, amidst friends and family and tears of […]

  38. […] (it was a fun meme!). The next top post about our wedding is viewed only because of the term “blue moon.” I swear, every day I get hits from someone searching for psychedelic skies, moons, or Chinese New […]

  39. […] a cathedral of majestic towering redwoods, under a blue moon, we committed to one another, come what may. I was 27 years old and Mac was 29. We still had our […]

  40. […] the past fifteen years, I have written in the tattered pages of a handmade guest book from our beautiful wedding in 1996 to commemorate how we celebrated each anniversary. The first few were quiet weekends away […]

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