4.22.2008

A room with a view


A good, solid eclipse can be a consciousness altering event, and yes, even without any drugs. In fact, if I were Queen of the World, I would declare that every person ever born should be given the opportunity to experience one Total Lunar Eclipse at least once in his or her lifetime. 

I watched my first lunar eclipse on a warm June night on the shores of Lake Powell, in the apricot sandstone desert of southern Utah. (Man, I wish that place was still a secret.) Greg and I were snuggled up with the kids; Natalie was 15 and Gavin, 11. We'd just finished burning marsmallows for s'mores and had moved away from the circle of firelight and into the desert night to better see the show. We sat and laughed waiting for it to start. The moon hung silver and low in a pristine sky, and the earth gradually began to cast her silhouette across its face. As the shadow advanced, the moon slowly began to lose her usual flat, communion-disk face, and suddenly, in the slip of a moment, she transformed into a perfect, ripe, glowing orb.  My breath stopped.  I was, in that moment, split-infinitive fully-body HIT with the clear, raw awareness that I was sitting on A PLANET! and, I was watching that planet's shadow pass across another PLANET! and all of us - me, my husband, my kids, the sleeping bags, the left-over s'mores, the sand, campfire, lake, Earth, moon - were all sailing together through outer SPACE! For a moment I felt like I needed to HANG ON! Oh, my gosh, this was such a . . . uh . . . such a . . . I regained my composure, and pulled the kids close, ready to whisper, I don't know, something profound, when suddenly Natalie jumped up and stretched. "Well, that was pretty cool, but I have to pee." 
Here's the skinny: Welcome to planet Earth. Its a beautiful place. One night while you're here, be sure to step outside and enjoy the view. Like Natalie says, its pretty cool.
"Lunar Eclipse" Photographer: David Holland  As found on: Space.com  Shot with Vixen Refractor, Mount: Orlon Atlas, Camera: Fuji S2 Pro, Software: PhotoShop

6 comments:

I'm Natalie. said...

I'm laughing so hard right now.

OH! Ha ha ha ha ha!

PattyJ said...

Thats an amazing picture. Your girl is just like my teenagers, but they all understand one day. I wish I didn't live so close to eh city. There are hardly any stars anymore.

shelly said...

Hahahahaha! That sounds JUST LIKE her! No offense, Nat. I can just imagine you as a 15 yr. old saying that! Hahaha! Oh, I loved that. I could read you all day long, Annie!

They call me Annie said...

But, why can't a moon be a small planet? And what about poor Pluto? Picky, picky, picky. =)

Pierces said...

Oh oh OH!!! I TOTALLY WATCHING THAT HAPPEN, IN UTAH, TOO!! We were watching the same shadow, on the same planet, in the same state... pretty cool.

Oh, and that line from Nat does not suprise me one bit. Not even slightly.

Stephanie said...

I was so into how you described that moment, totally and complety engulfed in your beautiful writing and then all of a sudden Natalie had to pee.......HAhAhAhA I started laughing so hard out loud I woke up baby Cole, whom I have been trying to get to sleep for...well, all morning haha It was worth it though for a good laugh. hahaa That was great!