When the sun goes down, it’s pretty much the end of my day. Especially this time of year, with SAD lurking just around the corner. But last night, even I wanted to be out after dark, just like most every one else around the globe, to watch the sky. Happily, it was a gorgeous, cool night in our corner of the world, with not a cloud in the sky to mar our view of the supermoon.
A running transcript of the conversation between The Husband and me at about 7:45 last night:
“Let’s go someplace where we can see it really well.”
“I don’t know, I figured you’d have an idea.”
“We’re facing away from the moon.”
“I know. I just want to get up the hill a ways. Can you see anything?”
“Ummm…not with it at my back.”
“True. And if we keep driving this direction it’s just going to get smaller and smaller as we drive away from it.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
A U-turn into a parking lot.
“Oh! There it is! But it’s not very interesting. I mean, it’s big and bright, and I can clearly see the features, so that’s cool. But it’s not doing any eclipse stuff.”
“Wait a minute, it’s kind of getting flat on one side. No, I’m wrong. Wait, yes! It’s definitely kind of smooshy. No, dang it, that’s just the freaky spot on my bifocals. Hold on, I think it’s changing. No, it’s just blurred from the bug smears on the windshield.”
“You’re not exactly an astronomer, huh?”
“You know, now that I think about it, we can usually see the moon from our front yard.”
A minute later we were in our own driveway, with a perfect view – just in time for the eclipse to become fascinating. We spent an hour in the cool night air, visiting occasionally with neighbors. Chatter reached us from up and down the block, as most of the neighborhood came out to witness the mundane miracle.
I imagned this scene playing out all over our giant ball of an Earth home, as we all slowly and imperceptively moved along together to create the shadow we were watching on our friendly, tag-along moon.
Joy and wonder and community, all created by a completely objective celestial event.