Just after midnight on Friday 13th June I went into early labour. As I couldn’t sleep, I walked around upstairs and while standing on the landing, noticed a full moon illuminating the dark sky. It filled me with hope, as I knew this meant the birth was imminent.
The full moon landing on Friday 13th is rare – it won’t happen again until 2049. And the next June full moon on Friday 13th will be in 2098.
I was pleased, as 13 is a good number for me and Rich: we had an amazing year living at number 13 in Frome – it was during this year that we got married – and again, we’re living at number 13 in Walthamstow. This is where the baby was conceived.
I tried to sleep but was too excited. A few hours later my sister messaged me to tell me that more babies are born on full moons than any other day of the year. She didn’t yet know that I’d been into hospital for a check and was in labour. Or that I’d overheard a midwife say that she couldn’t believe it but the labour ward was full.
I remained in labour all of Friday. And Saturday, which was also my birthday – the sweet midwives found this very exciting and kept giving me the best rooms and special treatment – and then on Fathering Sunday at half past midnight our long-awaited daughter arrived.
June full moons were named the ‘strawberry moon’ by native North American Algonquin tribes, as it signalled that the strawberries were ready to be picked. Strawberries didn’t grow in Europe so they called it the ‘rose moon’ instead. As our little girl began her journey into the world with the rose moon, and because Joni Mitchell is my favourite poet and singer songwriter, we’ve named her Joni Rose Moon Ridout.
I love that my sister was part of this journey too – with her psychic thoughts and suggestion that we incorporate the moon into Joni’s name.
When Joni Rose is 84, she’ll celebrate her birthday with a rose moon shining bright. Maybe she’ll eat some sweet strawberries while listening to Joni Mitchell, gazing up at the sky.