Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celestial Signs

As I write this, the moon is coming out of eclipse.  It's stunning to see it shining again after several hours of muddiness.  I didn't see a blood red moon so much as a smudged moon.

The sight of the moon coming out of eclipse puts me in mind of Advent texts, not Holy Week texts:  "The people who have dwelt in darkness have seen a great light" and "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."

Of course, some will think of the Passover texts, of nature behaving oddly (because God orchestrates it or because of other reasons) and bending the will of rulers.  The moon this morning could have been confused with a moon marked by clouds, but I'm guessing it looks different at other points on the planet.

I got up at 3:30 and wondered where we were in the progress of the eclipse, so I slipped outside.  Yes, mostly eclipsed.  I'm always amazed at how slowly a lunar eclipse progresses.  I went back inside.

A bit later, the phone rang.  It was my friend and back yard neighbor who rents our cottage.  We met in the back yard.  As we stood there for half an hour, she told me she'd never seen an eclipse.  One does have to make an effort with most eclipses, so I guess I'm not surprised.  And even if the hours are right, it doesn't take much in the way of weather to disrupt viewing.

And it takes time.  The first time I viewed an eclipse down here, I sat and waited and got amused at my lack of patience.  Now I just return to viewing throughout the eclipse, as I rarely have the patience to watch for several hours.

I think of the year that the eclipse would come early in the evening and be beautiful at the beach.  We invited friends over, but everyone had the same idea we did.  We ended up watching the eclipse from the back yard.  It was early in the history of our friendship as 2 couples, and I remember thinking the friendship had potential, since we all seemed adaptable to a change in plan.

This year, I want to hold on to that vision of the bright light returning to the moon.  I want to see it as a promise that no matter how long the shadow lingers over us, we will not be obscured forever.  That is a sign I need in this season of disease and death that seems to have settled over so many people I know.

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