It started in September. A group of us went for a full moon kayak on Pleasant Lake. Then in November Anne, Alison and I hiked up Neville Peak in Epsom during the full moon. While we sat at the top, the moon in and out of racing clouds, Anne had the idea of planning an outdoor adventure for every full moon.
Yesterday eight of us gathered in the late afternoon and hiked up Parker Mt. in Strafford. Last weekend David and I had done the short hike to the summit, then across the ledgy ridge to the cliffs that overlook Bow Lake. On our way back, we saw two young men starting a fire in a stone fire ring right off the trail. “Perfect full moon hike gathering spot,” I said.
We brought wood and paper and matches with us, as well as snacks and tea and wine. Soon a camp fire was crackling and we watched the moon coming up behind the trees. When the moon rose high enough to clear the trees, standing out on the open ledges was like standing in a shower of silver. We stood around the fire and welcomed the light, marking the coming solstice with talk of change, wishes, intentions and the fun of being in just that place, with a group of other like-minded people, the moon bathing us in luminescence.
We needed our headlamps to follow the twisty trail back, when our cold feet started to take over our delight in being outdoors. At the open summit of Parker we paused, turned off our headlamps, and looked at the lights of Portsmouth on the horizon, the sprinkling of street lamps in the small village below the ridge, and the big circle of open moon now high above us.