Last night, I stayed up till 3 am to watch the Lunar Eclipse. It was of special interest to me that it happened the same night as the Winter Solstice. I love the skies and everything that has been imagined, written, studied and discovered in relation to the phenomena observed there. I fall into the category of people that see amazing things above and have spiritual feelings well up in me. I think about things bigger than me and in the moment of contemplating the stars, the clouds, a rainbow, the moon or anything else, I'm lifted up, out of my normal concerns. I lose track of time and get glimpses of eternity--the past, the present and the future all become a bit easier to understand, or at least to imagine.
I am equally as interested in the science and the lore of the skies, especially on a night like this. I love all the statistics and numbers (this is the first time these two events have converged in 327 years) and understanding exactly what is happening. For me, knowing and studying those things has no effect on the majesty and magic of a full moon changing so dramatically over the course of a couple of hours and then returning to its usual, constant state. Can you imagine what people long ago, without the knowledge and technology that we now have, might have thought while watching the heavens on a night like tonight?
I thought about how lucky I was to have had my daughter mention it to me (I was unaware-don't watch the news much anymore) and that I have a really good lens on my camera. I was also grateful to have my family be excited about it and have two of my kids out there with me in the freezing cold night. I thought about how small the earth can seem when a friend in Denmark reminded me that so many of us were staring up in wonder at the same moon. Mostly I thought, "Wow. This is so beautiful. It makes me feel alive, excited, engaged, curious and amazed." I really like feeling those things, so this was a good night. Breathtaking in fact.
Here are my photos.