Hula Moon – Talk Story
I have never lived in a place where the moon is so consistently visible. Nor have I been more aware of the moon’s role in the lives and culture of the area in which I reside.
Having lived in the Pacific Northwest on Puget Sound most of my adult life, I was fully aware of the moon pulling tides in and out. In the summer, it was not uncommon to see tidal swings of 20 feet, running from minus three fee to plus seventeen. If you were a boater, you would not want to leave the marina without your tide chart.
In the winter, minus tides typically occurred late at night. I cannot tell you how many times we would see oyster men walking their oyster beds in a driving rain storm with lantern in hand and, I suspect, a flask of Jack Daniels in their pocket. The problem, though, was that in the Pacific Northwest, it was somewhat rare to actually see the moon, especially in the winter.
In Hawaii, it’s rare to see a two-foot tidal swing, and the moon is almost always there to admire. Living in Kailua-Kona, on the west side of the Big Island, the moon rises in the East, popping up behind Kohala or Mauna Kea or Hualalai. By midnight the moon is often directly overhead, making late night strolls around the yard a treat. During cycles when the moon is overhead during the day, it’s there in all its glory floating like the good year blimp.
Like so many things in Hawaii, each and every moon has its own unique Hawaiian name along with some belief tied to fishing, planting or harvesting. And you have not yet lived until you have enjoyed Hula beneath a full moon.