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January 20, 2019: Lunar Eclipse

This evening I stepped out of the cabin with the intention of going down and tending to the horses. I looked up at the moon, and startled, I jumped back because it looked like someone had taken a bite out of the bottom left-hand side of the circle. My response was such because five minutes before, as Pete and I were driving home, the full, full moon hung low in the sky. I mentioned to Pete that there was going to be an eclipse and he said that he thought this would occur at 2 p.m. or so.

Surprise. I did the horse chores by headlight instead of moonlight. It got darker as I worked. The horses did seem a little unsettled because their hay piles were becoming less visible. An analogy here is this: imagine if you were in a restaurant,

Alys riding in the Moose Range
Alys riding in the Moose Range

eating your desert (the best part of dinner) and for no reason at all the lights grew dimmer and dimmer. You’d pick at your food and maybe ask those with you if they had any idea what was going on, which is exactly what the three mares did. Tinni, in his pen, didn’t seem to care. It was as if he was saying “if you’ve seen one eclipse you’ve seen them all.”

After I finished pen cleaning, I stood in the driveway and observed the eclipse and the stars. I had one of those moments most people have – I saw myself as a small and insignificant part of a very large galaxy. Pete says there are over a billion galaxies out there. We human beings can’t fathom this. And if we could, our self-important attitudes would take a nose-drive.

I allowed myself to get very cold because this was a part of my winter eclipse experience. I was wearing my Refrigiwear suit; otherwise, I would not have been out there as long as I was. One of the many thoughts I had in watching this eclipse was that many would not have been able to be out as long as I was because it was not, as many things now are, an instantaneous event.

I also thought about the poet Mary Oliver who died a few days ago. It made me sad to think that she was missing this – she most likely would have written a beautiful poem about this event. I also thought that it was unfair she died when she did – she did not live long enough to see the world again become a better place, which we all know it will.

I finally came back inside and observed the disappearance of the moon from the living room window. It was not the same as being outside because the view was dimmed by the kitchen light. Pete was making dinner. Still, I was able to see the rest of the first part of the eclipse.

The eclipse was the end part of a really nice day – had a wonderful bicycle ride and later, an even more wonderful ride on Raudi. It’s my hope that seeing this eclipse is verification that things here will continue to go as well as they’ve been going.

Next: 21. 1/21/19: A Conversation with Ranger and Stormy

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