Last night we saw the blood moon. Okay, technically it was a “super” blood moon, as it was at close approach to the earth, but it actually looked kinda small to me.
But it tickled a memory, something from a very long time ago.
When I was a kid–maybe four or five years old–we lived in a quiet residential neighborhood in the middle of Tucson, Arizona. This would have been in the arly to mid seventies.
I remember lawns and small houses there, the oleander bushes and lone saguaro cactus in the back yard surrounded by a chain-link fence, the elementary school two houses down, and a grocery store down at the end of the street.
Next door to us, our neighbor Diane and her boyfriend lived in a classic 70’s pad – complete with cinder block bookshelves and big candles that looked to me like fantastic sky ships.
Diane was a free spirit, or at least she seemed so to me at the time. She had long black hair, and she was always kind to me.
I don’t remember why, but that night we went over to her back yard to see the eclipse. I do remember the moon–it was a rusty red, a strange sight that sent chills up my little back.
I felt a similar chill last night.
It wasn’t at all certain that Mark and I would even be able to see the eclipse this time around. It was a rainy afternoon and evening, and at 8 PM, when I went to check, the sky was full of clouds. But just after nine, a few moments before totality, the clouds slipped away and the sky was suddenly, miraculously clear.
I wish I’d had a better camera on-hand to capture it. But the fizzy image, in a strange way, suits the event, as it matches my own fuzzy memory of the last time around.
Seeing that blood moon the first time made me aware of the wonder and beauty of the world, and opened up my mind to the idea that there was so much more out there. So much that we don’t yet know. It remains a formative event in my early childhood.
Solar and lunar eclipses have both scared and intrigued humanity for centuries, millennia even… and I was no exception. They have been seen as augurs and omens of things to come.
Those of you who follow these newsletters know I am writing a story set on the moon – in fact, I just started last week.
Last night’s event felt like an omen to me, a reminder of how beautiful and strange our own little corner of the universe is.
I hope you saw it, and that it touched you too.