Last night was a full moon. I'm a big fan of full moons. I find them completely fascinating. The idea that years ago the phases of the moon were considered magical gives them an allure to me. (I feel the same way about the mysticism behind the Holy Eucharist...and ghost hunting.) Because there seems nothing more logical than organizing your life by season, I adopted pagan-like names for the moons and began treating them as significant markers in the year.
January's moon is the Wolf Moon, and is one of my particular favorites. Years ago during the January moon, the wolves would get so hungry in the wintertime, they would come into the towns and villages to steal chickens (and maybe babies). Thus the name.
I have told this story to my boys for years now, and because they are young, they demanded a resolution to the situation that would render wolves less scary. I told them that if they dressed up like wolves and howled at the moon, other packs of wolves wouldn't bother their neighborhood. So they do that. They howl.
When I see my kids walk down our dark path to the lake in the dead of winter at bedtime, even though "there might be other wolves out there," as my 5-year-old says, I understand better what early man was doing when they set out to worship anything - manage the unpredictable world.