Last night, as I was leaving my friend's place I was amazed to see the moon so large, so low and bright, so early as the sun was still setting- in the The Queen City always a beautiful show of warm, fiery colors in a vast sky streaked with light, puffy waves of clouds. Every evening is this splendid that merely stepping outside for a few minutes, getting up off the couch, on to the porch or into the street, and viewing the horizon with new eyes is sure to have some positive effect on you; from a boost in mood to a renewed sense of wonder in this earth/atmosphere that hosts us and this sun that supports all of our lives as well as the vitality of the community. Let's let the magnificence of the sunset that graces this city's skyline everyday inspire us to be our brightest, most spirited selves in all we do and with whomever we interact.
Conducting resident experience surveys in the various blocks of the neighborhood I hear the same message from residents- everyone recognizes that real change needs to and will hopefully come; a common theme is engaging the children by creating more programs and structures in which youth can play sports, exercise, express themselves, and just be kids off the streets and in a safe environment. For sure, acknowledging the shortcomings and challenges of one's community is an important first step, but for things to actually change there must be progress in further small steps of action, of individual and collective leadership that concerns itself with the well-being of the community and is committed to seeing its improvement for residents today and of generations to come. I realize this isn't news to anyone who lives here, raises kids here, runs a business here or works here but I think everyone can use a reminder of the way things are currently, the way you would like things to be and the indisputable power of one voice to spark a conversation that carries to a meeting where ideas are discussed and residents collaborate and something happens, no matter how big or small, it's a positive step in the right direction. This kind of resident engagement and participation will advance Middle Main towards a stronger, safer, prouder, more vibrant neighborhood that reflects the glorious sunsets over the Hudson.
In case you didn't know, the seemingly larger (no different from any other full moon in terms of its size, brightness, and color) than normal moon this past week was a Harvest Moon: the fall moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox and marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The moon reached its fullest phase here overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. Its name comes from the fact that many fruits and vegetables ripen in the late summer and early fall in the Northern Hemisphere and in the time before electricity farmers greatly relied on the moon's light to harvest late into the night.
In celebration of the Fall season upon us I share this excerpt from a poem about the Harvest Moon:
"It is the season of the Harvest Moon,
that pale amber orb of light
smiling down on a bountiful earth
on these late September nights.
Now is the time to gather in.
The fields and forest are ripe
And abundant now for harvest;
The apples are red, the pumpkins gold
And the harvest moon is in the sky
And the nights are growing cold.
The days are growing shorter.
Winter’s night is coming soon.
Autumn has come in gala dress
riding on the harvest moon…
And she is chanting out her warning
upon the autumn breeze
as she twirls and dances for awhile
among the falling autumn leaves."
- Annette Bromley