eclipse and solstice

Lunar eclipse seen from the Moon

Image via Wikipedia

I sense that poets all over the world are picking up their pens, grabbing paper and, if they live in the Northern Hemisphere, they are bundling up with hats and boots and mittens and scarves and themoses of hot chocolate or black coffee, prepared to pen about the Romeo of a lunar eclipse and the Juliet of a winter solstice and their ill-fated romance.

Both event will happen within a few hours of this writing. my antennae have been up for days now, sensing that this is a writer’s dream date night. . .the one night they are free to simply let their poetic souls flow.

I know I intend to let my poetic soul flow.

The scientists and astronomers have been buzzing about this event for some time now. I was curious about a week ago for when the first day of winter was coming. It’s easily camouflaged by all the snow and freezing rain we have had lately here in the midwest, yet winter officially will begin on Tuesday.

Astronomers are the most insanely romantic people on the planet, spending their lives stargazing and watching the heavens. They look for signs of the wonders of God that are often ignored by the average person in his rush to here or there: meteor showers, lunar or solar eclipses, Halley’s comet (which only has about another 62 years before it passes by again). In some ways I envy these people, astronomers. But I am glad that I am a poet, though!

So I’m setting my alarm clock and getting a little shut-eye before the celestial events begin. Scientists say that the lunar eclipse is in itself a rarity; that in my lifetime it will never happen again. i believe them; which intensifies the urgency to participate in the rare occasion. I am sensitive to the irresistible changes in nature. My flesh crawls when i think about such things as lunar eclipses and solstice events. They remind me how small I am in comparison to the universe. I am truly nothing.

It’s like the feeling of being swallowed whole by the universe the time I traveled for 3 hours to a little town called Gas City, Indiana so I could see the tail of Halley’s Comet whiz by.  Ironically I almost missed it, because by the time I got to Gas City, I was so sleepy i could barely hold me eyes open. but inside me i knew i had to stay awake, i had to see the comet. . .and i did. When the comet passed by, it was a sweep of red dust; similar to a shooting star but more diffuse. Amazing. Powerful. Big. Staggering. Unforgettable.

The events of that night were a lot like tonight. Cloudy and overcast, Gas City sat at an elevation that allowed for a clearer view of the sky. Tonight, it is snowing and the snow, as beautiful as it is, is causing an overcast sky once again.  Thus, with my own eyes I will not see the lunar eclipse. Instead, I will experience it with my soul.

So poets all over the world. Take up your pens and your paper and write. I know I am not alone.


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