Wishing on the Moon


If I live to be a hundred, I’ll experience about 1,200 wonderful magical full moons in my lifetime.  It sounds like a lot, but I already know, it’s not going to be enough.

♣     ♣     ♣

Because I make wishes on everything from lady bugs to dandelions, wishbones and falling stars, eyelashes and pennies I find heads-up; four-leaf clovers and falling leaves I catch in midair, first-star-I-see-tonight, and birthday candles, of course I make wishes on the full moon.  I can’t resist; there it is, spreading light on the whole world.  I want my energy in there too!

So I thought I’d show you just a few of the moons you and I have shared this year; I think it’s perfectly OK to make wishes on pictures of moons!  And here’s a little night music to go with them  . . . (you can click and come right back and listen while you scroll down. )

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . .

My favorite is on wintry nights, when the full moon rises down at the end of my street, above Vineyard Haven Harbor, and peeks through the leafless maples and birches into my backyard; it shines a silvery path across the frosted lawn to my kitchen door.  This was taken just the other night from our porch; it’s the “Long Night’s Moon,” as the December full moon was called by Native Americans.

Coming home from a long trip, we crossed the sound at midnight by boat . . . our way was lit by stars and the full Hunter’s Moon of October.

Pismo Beach, California; a balmy moonlit night after a walk on the beach.

Overlooking Edgartown harbor and the “on-time” ferry to Chappaquiddick . . . bundled up in layers — hats, scarves, gloves; it’s cold out there!

Bella Luna . . . The Harvest Moon comes up right at the end of our street.  I wait for it.  If we’re in the car, it feels like we are driving right into it.  It also wakes me up at night, calls me to the window to watch it.

Driving 101, on the Central Coast of California, heading south past Shell Beach in August, and there she was!  Mrs. Green Corn Moon herself. Beautiful, beautiful moon.

In April, we twirl and make wishes on the “Pink Moon.”

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.  George Carlin

Woods Hole, on a blustery night just after a storm blew through, and bella luna.

The Strawberry Moon coming up through the cottonwoods at our California house.

No privacy, no where to hide; the moon comes peeping over the barn and lets herself in through our bedroom window.

This is what we see in our “room with a view” when we cross the country by train; from our sleeping car window there are beautiful sunsets and amazing moonrises, like this one, over the New Mexico desert.

No moon?  There’s always a full moon at the Griffith Park Observatory in Hollywood where we went last April.

I’m standing out in front of my house looking toward the harbor by way of the moon.  The best things in life are free. 

This is where we walk every day, out a dirt road through the woods that opens onto this pond and the sound — in the summer we come down for the sunset and go home with the moon rise.

The stars are just coming out, find one and make a wish!

In 2013, when you look up at the moon, just tell the driver:

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.   Les Brown

And just in case you’d like a little more moon–here you go! 


(If I had a gypsy soul, which this song almost makes me think I do, this would make me want to tie long scarves to my fingers, and dance barefoot to the bella bella moon . . .)

Here’s a little S.B. memorabilia for you for 2023. . . It’s a bookmark you can print out, with all the dates for all the full moons so you don’t miss a thing!  It also includes the Native American names for each month’s moon.  If you want one more reminder, we also made a moon wallpaper for your computer.

It’s a marvelous night for a moondance . . .

72 Responses to Wishing on the Moon

  1. Miss Pat says:

    How very lovely. From one moon watcher to another, you are so very special. I wish I lived next door to you. Maybe we could be friends.

  2. Jill says:

    Dear Susan,

    I love the moon! I am kind of obsessed with it. I think it started when I was little with Captain Kangaroo where there was this Grandfather clock with the man on the moon in the face of it. Thank you for your beautiful photos!
    I love your website!
    Thank You

  3. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    It makes me happy to know that there are so many others who love and appreciate a full moon like I do! Usually people look at me as if I am a werewolf or something….getting ready to howl when it’s full! I love the sweet sliver moon, too (is there a name for that….not sure….I always called it sliver. Maybe it’s called the New Moon?)

  4. Lucy de Leeuw ( Miss Lucie) says:

    We enjoyed the beautiful bright “Pink Moon” last evening. I am of the moon sign and my body naturally gravitates to it. I like you, have always had a fascination with the moon. Every month observing the moon, there is always something different and unique about it. I hope to one day get the the Hollywood Observatory. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Debbie '51 says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Thank you for Bella Luna. I sometimes come here just to listen while I am busy on other pages.
    Or, more likely, to dance barefoot with scarves tied to my fingers while beautiful luna dances above 🙂
    aaahhhhhhhhhh… so relaxing…
    Here’s to you, Missy Susan.

  6. Adrienne says:

    Oh no! My computer lost its memory, and your site no longer has the link to the moon bookmark and wallpaper? Bah-hoo, this makes me very sad. Please bring it back.

  7. Mercina O'Neil says:

    Sooo, we may have shared the same moon! I lived at one time in Arroyo Grande and visited Pismo Beach several times and recognized your moon, thank you for sharing. I also worked at a resort in Shell Beach, and have to agree that moon was also beautiful! I know have a beautiful new moon I treasure from my deck in Payson, AZ. Thank you Susan for being so gracious and always sharing!

  8. GAyle Irwin says:

    You are the only other person I have encountered that knows the moon– the Native american names and the fun with the moon songs — I have a local following amongst my friends and associates now that call me about the moon – and we have a hilltop gathering to watch the full moon rise over the Smoky Mtn Peaks (I lie a the very foot of the mtns..) so refreshing to see someone else appreciate and believe in it like I have for years. Capella Luna to all

    • sbranch says:

      Hard not to appreciate such a beautiful thing . . . I’ve put the Native American names for the moon on my calendars since I don’t know when … they’re so evocative of the seasons … if you liked wishing on the moon, you will love Martha’s Vineyard Moonrise! Kindred spirits!

  9. michelle free says:

    Please make your spirit go on forever. It lifts me up everyday. My young daughters love it too….both in nyc! oxoxox

  10. Shelly says:

    The link doesn’t work for me either~ Can you give us an update on your England Diary progress? I can’t wait till I can read it, eeek~

    • sbranch says:

      Glad to! I’m on page 113. Its at my publisher right now being read! Fingers crossed she likes it! Had to stop to do willard, decorate the house, going back to it soon!

  11. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Loved the moon replay! Thanks! The other night I had to get up to see why the light was so bright in our room – the man in the moon was shining brightly! Page 113 on “our” diary! Fabulous! You’re amazing!! xoxo

  12. Anne DeMarsay says:

    A friend in my circle of women shared your 2012 bookmark. I loved it! I printed out several copies and made laminated bookmarks I gave away to friends–and of course I kept one for myself. I’m finally stopping by to thank you for your generosity in creating a lovely and useful piece of art I’ve enjoyed all year. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year.

  13. Pat Stansel says:

    Where did you find the song Bella Luna with Jason Mraz? That video is so
    Touching awesome and romantic—fabulous!

  14. Pat Stansel says:

    Last night I woke up around 4:30, I looked out the window & saw the most beautiful
    Moonscape! Big billowy white clouds with spaces in between and the moon almost full, and
    Shining brightly. Oh, the spaces were the most georgous deep blue. I live in Calif.
    With an ocean view —-which made it so spectacular.

  15. Kelly says:

    Okay, no joke: As I’m settling in to read your this delightful post on full moons (SWOON) I was going to click the link for your “night music” when my own music that I have going on my laptop begins playing Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. Ha!

    “Because I’m still in love with you…On this Harvest Moon.” <3

    • Kelly says:

      btw- I, too, take photos of all the full moons. What I’m always struck with when I see the moon, especially the full moon, is how it hasn’t changed. It is the same moon, the same side, the same reflected glow that everyone through the ages has seen. It’s like having a direct connection through time and history. Shakespeare, Dante, Pocahontas, Emily Dickinson, Michelangelo, Alexander the Great, Pharaohs…
      Every poem or song that has ever been written has been written while looking at that face of the moon as we see today. The best things in life are free…and never changing. There’s real comfort in that.

      Also, I did click over to hear your selected music (I always do) and it is just lovely. I adore your musical taste and have added many songs to my playlist after visits to your blog. Thank you for that.
      Oh! and thank you for the free bookmark. Fantastic!

  16. Marianne says:

    Every full moon my grandma and I would say this little prayer….I see the moon and the moon sees me…God bless the moon and God bless me….and you too, Susan!!! Xoxo

  17. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Bella Luna — the music is enchanting. Pearl of the Universe — at least from our point of view. I don’t know how I missed this Moon Menu till now, but glad I found it. Thanks.

  18. Virginia Lempa says:

    I just received your book A Fine Romance, on Thanksgiving from my sister and I am enchanted! I feel like I am with you on this voyage and I just love your darling husbands enthusiasm with the things that set your soul on fire. You are truly blessed with a gift of storytelling and seeing the world for the wonders it beholds.

    I too am in love with the moon. I take my little dogs out for their evening stroll and always have to say, under my breath,”Hi moon” I think it’s a law?

  19. CarolK in Cent'l Jersey says:

    On my father’s side they are Hungarian so I figure I’m halfway there to gypsy-hood myself. Love, love, love that video. I’m a moon gazer too so fly me toooooo the moooooon and let me live among the starrrrrs…..lalalalalala. Don’t get me going or you’re going to need ear plugs. NJ hugs

  20. Julie says:

    When I was little, very little, I distinctly remember looking up at the moon, seeing the dark areas and thinking it was the earth. Isn’t that funny? But of course, I knew what the earth looked like, and to me, in my three year old wisdom, thought it looked just the same, so it must be the earth right? It cracks me up when I think about it. Now seeing the moon in a dark sky simply makes me think of my mom, and is a sign that she is near and thinking of me too. It’s comforting.

  21. Ann from NY says:

    Love the moon in all it’s phases and splendor!

  22. Sweet Sue says:

    Just found this blog on the moon…….what amazing photos ……..and absolutely fantastic trivia about each month’s full moon and “moon facts”! I printed out some of your moon phases/calendar of moon bookmarks on cardstock and have given them out with little gift books that have poetry, etc about the moon. Until I had looked through your 2014 calendar I hadn’t realized that each full moon has it’s own name and history depending on the month. So thanks for enlarging my understanding about the moon. It is amazing when you read Genesis 1:1 “In the beginnning God created the heavens and the earth” just how much detail went into everything He created—–what an awesome God!
    Thanks Susan….sometimes I think you carry a plethora of information about a vast variety of topics in your head…..and we are so fortunate to tap into that on your blogs as well as your website. 🙂 Bless you this day!

    • Ricki says:

      I agree Sweet Sue. I love the music Bella Luna…I prayed for you this week. Hope your doctor report was good. All you said about Susan’s knowledge on various things is a gift to us for sure. Love the Genesis reference. So true. Ricki

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Just read your comment Ricki of March 27th. Thank you for your prayers….I got the results from my latest scans last week and the little bit of cancer cells that had come back in November 2013 had grown yet ever so slightly…my oncologist says the chemo I had stopped them from growing more…..so now it is on to another treatment…..this time a drug in pill form that I take once a day. It is meant to decrease and/or eliminate a hormone in my system that the cancer cells are feeding off of thereby decreasing and killing off the cancer cells. So far no side effects. I have upgraded my diet to include calcium/Vitamin D supplements and bananas, cruciferous veggies and more cancer fighting foods. I know God created me (See Psalm 139) and had plans for my life before I was even born and desires to see me fulfill His destiny for my life. It is also true that He gave His Son, Jesus not only for my salvation yet also for my healing (See Isaiah 53). So I’m pressing into God’s Word and pressing on in faith trusting Jesus to heal me and make me whole. After all He is the Great Physician!
        If you would like to correspond with me you can go to “The Legacy” blog under “Home Sweet Home” heading and read my comments that include how to contact me. Bless you and thanks again for your prayers! 🙂

  23. Kaisha Crawford says:

    Awesome, I love all of the pictures, and Can I really make a wish on the picture of the full moon ?

  24. Judy Beal says:

    My love for the moon goes back to the WW11 years…when my Daddy was in the Navy and was aboard a ship on the other side of the world. My mother would sing “I See The Moon” to me and tell my she was sure my Daddy was looking at the same moon we were looking at, at exactly the same time. Now I tell the story to my “Grands” about the moon and their daddy.

  25. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    The Moon, the Moon, how I love the Moon. Your blog pictures today are gorgeous, especially love the lucky pup who looks blissfully happy with his human floating under The Moon. The Moon floats across the sky this time of year at a level I can see out my front apartment windows 🙂 Think I’ll put on some Chanel #5 for tonight’s viewing.

  26. Christie says:

    My grandfather, born in 1897, said that a crescent moon with the tips pointing upwards is holding the rain that will fall when the tips rotate downwards. (We lived in the beautiful evergreen Pacific Northwest, so rain falling was nearly always in the foreseeable future.)

  27. audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, Missouri says:

    I just printed off three full moon bookmarks. One for me, one for a friend and one to have on hand… to share… soon!
    Thank you for the thoughtful gift!

  28. Reese says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, music, poetry, humor,etc . It gets a girl through the day! And “Bella Luna”- such sensuous, enchanting, haunting music goes right through me. I must have gypsy in me too. I feel like dancing. Any more music suggestions? Please, never stop sharing.

  29. Cindy in Paso says:

    I love love love your Cali moons!!!

  30. Betty says:

    Thank you for this lovely post and beautiful photos. I love to think that even though I live in a different part of the world from many of my blog and Facebook friends, we still see the same moon:)
    So many lovely songs written about the moon. Some of my favourites Moonlight in Vermont, Moon River, Blue Moon etc.
    Happy days and moonlit nights,
    Betty (Melbourne)

  31. Pat Johnson says:

    The moon is a special part of my life too – it is a special time when I talk to Fred and know he is listening. And I always wish on his star. The moon brings clarity to my life. How we can look up and see this amazing thing in the sky and watch the changes that occur, month after month, just as we change ourselves over time – so does the moon. The other fun thing is to know that when I am looking at the moon, someone else I know is doing the same thing – very personal experience. Makes the big world seem smaller indeed. And we are so small, standing on the place and talking to the moon. Hope all is well with you and the rest of the family. How is your Dad? Thanks for sharing……Hugs….

  32. Ruth thomas says:

    We had cloudy skies every single moon this year. I miss seeing the moon. I will keep looking until the clouds make way.

    I want to thank you as I already have a pen pal and we have exchanged letters already!

  33. Christie says:

    Susan, have you read “Walk When the Moon Is Full” by Frances Hamerstrom ? It is a book I read to my children years ago, and I sometimes think of different chapters from it on full moon nights.

  34. LoriM says:

    I see I’m not the only one who remembers:

    I see the moon, and the moon sees me,
    And the moon sees the somebody
    I’d like to see
    God bless the moon, and
    God bless me, and
    God bless the somebody I’d like to see.

    My mom and I love the moon and often call each other when it’s extra-pretty. She taught me this song, and we sang it often when I was at boarding school (sniff-sniff!). Now I’m teaching it to my grandchildren. 🙂

  35. Jane Smith says:

    Susan your moon pictures were truly loverly. However I did not see Cosmos’ moon from the movie Moonstruck. The bella moon was close.

  36. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog, Susan, so appreciated by fellow Moon lovers. Gazing upon it one night inspired this poem:

    Moon, more emotion than matter,
    Sovereign you hang in the west, yet illusive and mysterious.
    Oh, take me, take me to your breast!
    Reveal the mysteries of the universe;
    Make me your captive guest!

  37. Joan says:

    Such beautiful pictures of the moon. My husband and I love to look at the moon and for Christmas he gave me a beautiful pendant called Phases of the Moon from Lovell Designs in Portland Maine. Lovell Designs is wonderful nature inspired jewelry and this piece is extra special for anyone who finds beauty looking at the moon.

  38. Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you Susan !!! It brings me tears of love and joy to see your and our moons! Thank you so very much for sharing this joy!

  39. Phyllis Doverspike says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you ever so much for your lovely books. I do an outreach for our public library in VB , VA where I work and today’s outing with my wonderful senior group was spectacular. Our theme was to embrace new things and never quit reaching for the moon, no matter your age. I started with Cynthia Riggs, who began at 80 to write and was reunited with her early love after being separated by a lifetime of living. She and her wonderful second romance had four lovely years together. I looked for other late bloomers to feature, like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child and Grandma Moses to name a few. In looking for more materials/books with Martha’s Vineyard settings, a catalog search took me to Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. I already knew we would do some creative writing activities and had artistic attempt at journaling in mind and your books were all the confirmation I needed that I was right in my approach.
    I am roughly your age and was raising my children during the 80s Golden Age of Gravy, as an at home mom. I love all things primitive and all forms of artwork as a form of creative expression. I remembered your cookbook and your wonderful homespun style. I have a copy of it. Reading your memoir books to book-talk to my seniors was like a reverie of my own, recalling familiar instances in time and revisiting the fashions you talked about. I sported the Laura Ashley looks back then, being more fond of Out of Africa’s influence on fashion during that period. Isak Dinsen is one of my favorite people in history. I have always admired courageous women.
    I loved your stories. Have read A Fine Romance too to be able to share it with my group and found it enchanting. I read the part to them at the back of the book regarding leaving a mark on history and craftsmen whose contributions have stood the test of time to let others know they were here as they spent their time decorating their composition journals with lovely Victorian ephemera in collage art style. Many of them no longer have the dexterity to attempt the beautiful little watercolors your books contain so we improvised with a collection of other ephemera and stamped images to decorate their pages. They started with a Bucket List and embellished other pages with quotes from the other authors I mentioned above..taking turns reading them out loud.
    I am so sorry for the long narrative, but wanted you to know what an inspiration you were to them in their undertakings. Your books are magic. My best regards to you and bless you for sharing your experiences in a fashion only you can provide.

    • sbranch says:

      Lovely comment, thank you so much. Please, if you see your group again, give them my best. And thank you for your kind words. xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a wonderful thing you are doing!

      • Kerrie Foley says:

        Working with this fabulous group of folks has been my extreme pleasure. Most of them no longer drive and transportation is an issue for them. Many are virtually home bound. Bringing library services cracts and activities to them has been a blessing. They are so grateful. I just had to let you know that this month I have to acknowledge the part your books and artists talents played in our success and share their excitement with you.

        • sbranch says:

          One thing I know, our outsides change, but inside (for the lucky ones) we are still the same young-at-heart joyful spirits we’ve always been. Just stuck with bad knees or shaky hands. I can totally understand and appreciate their gratitude. You bring light in where without you there may not be any. Thank you Kerrie.

  40. Sarah Andersen says:

    What a lovely Moon display. Love the night time with the moon shine and stars peeking through. Reminds me of a family outing several summers ago in Yellowstone National Park where the park ranger pointed out all the constellations, Milky Way, and different positions of the moon and Earth in different seasons.

  41. Thank you. I’m now 80 years into loving the Moon. Growing up in warm Summer nights in Austin. Texas, our Mother would put up a roll-away bed in the backyard and let my sister (2years younger) and me sleep outside. We sang to the Moon and the Stars. We followed their movements across the navy blue/black sky. We made wishes and especially loved the Falling Stars which were never frequent enough for our wishes. We were so happy “under the stars” with the huge Sycamore tree standing guard and reflecting the moon- and star-light on its white bark. Mother’s and Daddy’s bedroom was only yards away The picket fence kept intruders away, but we wished for bunnies, raccoon, armadillos and possum to cautiously amble by. Frogs would sing and maybe an owl would call out. What a wonderful way to grow up realizing we were a part of such a beautiful universe. And we thought we had discovered the Milky Way long before any of our friends. Who else had such a privilege as we in our roll-away bed outside on summer nights? Many Nursery Rhymes we could recite about floating to the Moon, or being there with it. The Moon is our everlasting friend to this day giving me so many memories, especially of our parents and secure home life as a family of six with two younger brothers arriving a few years later. Many Dear Ones are gone now, but the Moon is always there for me and thee. Thank you for thIs opportune Forum of Nostalgia. 🌖

    • sbranch says:

      Absolutely lovely Jo . . . We too slept out in our backyard on summer nights in the valley where I grew up … in sleeping bags, watching those same stars . . . wasn’t it just something! xoxo

  42. Tracy Schneider says:

    Susan, ( I love the typeface you selected for your replies!)
    I only in the past couple of years found you…it was when I was still in CT…and then, oddly, I moved to MV just as everything shut down last year. (there is a story of me gifting your book to my sister’s friend for hosting me at her own home in EDG and Chappy ~ this is after I fell in love with your tale in your first book about MV)…I would like ~ as probably so many others ~ to tell you my own tale of finding the Vineyard, feeling the “coming home-ness” of it…and letting the hope and dream die of being in this magical place … the forgetting over 20 or so years becuz…..honestly, why would my coming back to Martha be possible. And, yet, here I am…with my husband… whom I met in Chicago and brought here for a quick weekend….tales and tales and now…we have tails here! Sending my love…because I truly wish…hope…wish to meet you and talk about your own journey your designs, watercolors. I would be so honored…I am a full-time resident and am here on island. Please let me know if we can connect ~ even a brief phone conversation – we are of similar age btw. My best to you!

  43. Susan Matura says:

    Lovely pictures. My favorite is the one peeking through the leafless trees. I have an endearing story about my parents. I was taking care of them in their home a few years back and the moon rose up in their kitchen window each month. One winter they stood arm and arm looking out the window and sung songs about the moon. The recalled a date in their early years , late 40s, early 50s where they were holding hands under the full moon walking and skipping home and singing every moon song there was. By the Light of the Slivery Moon being one of them.

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