So, the blood moon just happened. In fact it’s still happening while I’m writing this. It’s one of those astronomical phenomena that have captivated humankind for centuries and was often viewed with a combination of awe and fear. Of course, that was centuries ago. Today, a full lunar eclipse is a kind of media event up there with Trump and the latest Facebook scandal. But I think the impact is not as great as it once was. Let me explain…
Like any diligent parent, I explained to the kids that this incredible event was going to be happening and would they like me to wake them up so they could experience this amazing celestial event for themselves. “Yeah Dad, that would be great!” They said. No worries, I thought. They’re really interested!
Later, I drag the kids out of bed and shuffle them out into the crisp early morning air and point their bleary eyes in the direction of the blood moon. The timing was perfect…the shadow of the Earth had just blocked out the last sliver of the Suns light…the moon was full, not a cloud in sight, and the lunar surface was now taking on that familiar red glow.
I stood there watching it. It was beautiful! I gazed down at the kids waiting for the first enquiring question or insightful observation…
“Is that it?” said my son.
“Will it get bigger?” asked my daughter.
“What else is it going to do?” said my son as he stifled a yawn.
“Well, nothing.” I replied. “That’s it. But isn’t it amazing! That’s the shadow of the earth that’s blocking off the light of the sun!”
“Okay, sure. Cool, I guess.”
They wandered back inside and back to bed. I stood there for a few minutes more though. I contemplated the wonder of the universe, the way that the orbits of the solar system combined to present a delicate celestial ballet that existed for the most fleeting of moments. I relished the idea that this was only viewable like this to us…that you had to be standing on this planet, at this precise time, to see this stunning transformation.
It may have been lost on the kids, but not on me. I appreciated the wonder.