Friday, August 19, 2016
Lament for the Sturgeon
Last night I walked outside to view the August full moon, which is supposedly known as the Sturgeon Moon. I'm a little suspicious that the moons of each month now have names, such as June's Strawberry Moon. It feels like the emergence of exotic names for weather events. The word though is that the name comes from the time of year when First Nations harvested this largest fish of our fresh waters. The moon was certainly brilliant and fully visible at 1:30 in the morning.
The Ontario map is dotted with names such as Sturgeon Falls, Sturgeon Beach, Sturgeon Point, and Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park. The reality is that these once plentiful prehistoric-looking leviathans are hard to find today. It's probably safe to say that most of us have never seen one. The only occasion I did was on Change Islands off the coast of Newfoundland. A five-footer was caught in a fishing net and was tethered, live, to a dock. Our family, including children who were young at the time, was fascinated.
The bible includes a number of laments for a compromised Creation, as a sign of our broken relationship with God. Our faith is not just "me and Jesus" and how we keep on good terms. Scripture suggests that when any strand of the Web of Creation is snapped, we are all the weaker for it. When we hear about the bleaching of the great living organisms which are coral reefs, or the relentless disappearance of songbirds we should shed tears of contrition and ask how we might repent and be reconciled.
Perhaps the moon invites us to lament the passing of the sturgeon.