Ah the night of the red moon. Did you see it?
They told us it would a very rare, spectacular occurence. I thought I’d better make an effort to see it as I’m not getting any younger. Only the other day I’d a headache, and yesterday I sat for so long I had a sore back, surely both serious signs my time is running out.
So I googled and facebooked ‘red moon’. By the time my children were going to bed I was a self-declared expert.
However in reality my googling might have been a little distracted by the incredibly exciting episode of ‘Downton Abby’ I was watching on TV. I may have approached my red moon research similar to the way I used to study all those years ago, by skimming, speed reading and imagining I knew it all.
My youngest was the only child who was enthused by my wonder at this amazing moment in time. We agreed we would meet at 1.10am in the kitchen. I suppose in hindsight I should have gone to bed early, but I forgot, and found myself crawling into bed at 12.45am.
Minutes later (literally) the alarm went off. My OH didn’t stir, and for a moment I felt sorry for him. I mean he’s older than I am, surely he’d never get to see a red moon in the short time left in his life? I stumbled out of bed and as arranged met my youngest in the kitchen.
To be fair the moon was magnificent. It was enormous, brightly shining in a clear sky, lighting up the house and back garden as if it were a spotlight on a sports pitch. Yes it was spectacular, but something was not quite right. The more I stared at it the more I knew without doubt, this moon was white not red.
Turning to my sleep deprived daughter I asked her could she see any red at all. She took a moment to study it, and even opened the back door to see it ‘up close’ before coming in shaking her heard, ‘Nope, it’s definitely not red’ she agreed.
Unwilling to admit I may not have researched this properly, I began to surreptitiously google ‘what time will the feckin moon turn red?’ Sick I discovered it would be sometime between 3.30 and 4.15 am. I blamed google and advised my little one that I would set my alarm for 3.30 and if it was red I’d wake her. Not convinced, she continued to watch the moon do nothing at all for another fifteen minutes, before bowing out.
3.30 came and a divil for punishment I got my ass out of bed once more, reminding myself I’d be a long time dead. I stumbled downstairs and made my way to the back door, excited to see the amazing red moon. I burst out onto the patio and looked up to see…
Nothing! Absolutely feckin nothing! As I scanned the skies I noted the beautiful bright moon of
earlier was no more. In its place was a partially visible moon half black, half white and very definitely not red. Shaking my head, filled with confusion and disappointment, I wearily made my way back to bed, more than a little envious of yer man, still sleeping peacefully.
The following morning I got up for the third time, a little light-headed and sleep deprived. My daughter was not impressed wondering why I didn’t wake her.
‘Have you ever stood in a room, in the dark of night and turned off the light?’ I asked her.
‘Yes’ she replied.
‘Well sweetheart, that would mean you have already seen a red moon’.
When ‘yer man’ asked us what it was like, I could see the delight in his well rested face, as he acknowledged he’d dodged a bullet.
I was just about getting over my disappointment when my youngest appeared with her phone in hand and a face that didn’t say ‘I love you’.
‘Mum, admit it, you slept through’ she said thrusting her phone at me.
I looked and there was within her phone much photographic evidence of a large, round red moon.
‘That’s been photoshopped’ I said defensively, ‘don’t believe the internet. Anyway maybe that’s in America?’.
‘Mum, it was taken in Cork city’.
So it looks like I’m the only person who got up twice in one night and still managed to miss the main event. Now I’ll have to look after myself, drink less and take vitamin tablets daily, in order to ensure I get another chance someday in the future, to wake up in the dead of night to witness this rare event.
Or else I might follow himself’s example, sleep peacefully, barely glance at photos, and briefly mutter, ‘Lovely’.
photo credit: Eclissi totale di Luna via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sliver via photopin (license)