Back to Nature (Published on - March 30, 2005)
Mitakuye Oyasin – we are all related
Photo by Rick Tremmel
A monarch caterpillar holds much promise perched upon the milkweed plant.
We are space travelers upon the spaceship, Planet Earth, third planet from our solar system’s sun at a distance of 149,597,870 million kilometers (92,958,350 million miles) referred to by astronomers as one astronomical unit.

Studded with craters and strewn with rocks and dust, a cold, dry orb travels with our spaceship at a distance of 238,900 miles (384,000 km), on average, around our sun. This orb is Earth’s one natural satellite, the moon. The same side of the moon always faces the Earth; it is in a synchronous rotation with the Earth. What we see of the moon is the sun’s illumination upon the moon’s surface. The moon revolves around the sun in concert with the earth each month or 27 days eight hours rotating on its own axis in about the same amount of time, therefore some scientists consider the moon and the earth to be a double planet system (rather than a planet/moon system).

While traveling through our solar system we can expect to see this satellite each night. We can expect to be bathed in moonlight. Every morning we expect the sun will illuminate our day. These are predictable occurrences. So far we can count on these natural occurrences but technology is advancing faster than our ethics and natural markers to guide our civilization.

Native American Indians of Eastern North America kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each of the predictable, recurring full moons. These names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.

JANUARY: Cold Moon Unolvtani or the Full Wolf Moon

FEBRUARY: Bony Moon Kagali or Full Snow Moon

MARCH: Windy Moon Anuyi or the Full Crow Moon Full Worm Moon

APRIL: Flower Moon Kawoni, the Full Pink Moon, the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon

MAY: Planting Moon Anisguti or the Full Strawberry Moon

JUNE: Green Corn Moon Tihaluhiyi or the Full Strawberry Moon

JULY: Ripe Corn Moon Guyegwoni or The Full Buck Moon

AUGUST: Fruit Moon Galoni or Full Sturgeon Moon; Full Fruit or Barley Moon

SEPTEMBER: Nut Moon Duliidsdi or Full Harvest Moon

OCTOBER: Harvest Moon Duninudi or Full Hunter’s Moon

NOVEMBER: Trading Moon Nudadaequa or Full Beaver Moon

DECEMBER: Snow Moon Usgiyi or The Full Cold Moon or the Full Long Nights Moon.

It’s now the time of the last Full Moon of winter, the Anuyi – the Windy Moon, the Full Crow Moon or Full Worm Moon. The names of the moons were so named honoring and representing the people’s connection with the earth. As temperatures begin to warm and the northern ground began to thaw, earthworm casts appeared, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes also knew this moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night and the Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees.

The rhododendrons are in full bloom, pinks and fuchsia. The live oaks are leafed out in bright, shimmering yellow-greens, as robins search for food among the blades of newly sprouted grass. The scarecrow is dressed in the garden and the night is heavily scented with the perfume of a thousand orange tree blossoms.

It’s these predictable occurrences that lead us to believe that since we are rooted to this planet, that life on this planet is also predictable. It’s only natural that earth dominates our perception and perspective of our universe. This is how we base our concepts of time.

In reality to look at time another way: all change and movement; each and every idea, thought, event, and interval; all matter, energy, and space occurring in the universe are part of, and connected in, the sequential process of existence.

The butterfly expects that her egg will birth into a caterpillar. The caterpillar is a promise of a butterfly, but what actually happens depends upon sequential occurrence.

Space traveler: Nurture your kinship back to nature, third planet from the sun.

Karen can be reached at

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