It was as if the stars weren’t going to let the incredible Super Moon-Blood Moon-Wolf Moon combination outperform them. Last night’s total lunar eclipse was accompanied by six shooting stars during my viewing from our central Wisconsin front yard.
At -8 degrees Fahrenheit and falling, it seemed too cold for even the Great Horned Owls to hoot like they had last week. As I watched the Moon rise over the trees as the eclipse began, I wondered about other people near and far who had joined me to witness this perfect alignment of Moon, Earth, and Sun. Where light pollution or skyscrapers or clouds or fear of night or personal limitations didn’t prevent them from experiencing this celestial wonder firsthand. Where they could share the experience of transitioning from a super bright moonlit landscape to an eerily dark one under the veil of a crimson moon suspended in the sky like a forgotten Christmas ornament.
And then, I wondered what if…
What if we imagine a different point of view? What if the Blood Moon was Planet Earth instead as we gazed into our night sky? In these days of pushing beyond sensible environmental limits, of causing other species to go extinct at alarming rates, of poisoning our air, our water, and ourselves—what if we saw the blue orb of our own finite planet suspended overhead instead and we knew that it was us mirrored there? Would that make any difference in the choices we make? In the care that we give? In our pursuit of global understanding and peace? In the vigor with which we fight to protect our children’s destiny on this planet?
Joe Miller wrote a poem in 1975 which begins, If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. In our sky last night, the Blood Moon appeared only a few feet in diameter. Otherworldly. Like an omen. And judging from media and social media chatter and photographs, many of us marveled.
Whether we choose to think about it or not, Planet Earth gives us a one-of-a-kind performance every day and every night among the stars. We humans are on stage and we determine how it plays out.
Earth’s water is our lifeblood. Earth’s air is our breath. Earth’s integrity is the foundation for our very own. People would love it and defend it with their lives because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter.
It will be more than two years before our next Blood Moon will come. What will be different here on Planet Earth by then?