We recently had a total lunar supermoon eclipse. Did you see it?
I almost forgot to look. My husband was out of town again, caring for his very ill parents. I’d spent several hours slogging through bedtime with the kids, checked facebook to remind myself that there were other adults in the world doing other things, and saw lots of discussion of the eclipse; who could see it, who had cloud cover, wasn’t it stunning, weren’t we disappointed if we couldn’t see it. And I felt a little guilty, like it was something I should care about but couldn’t summon the feelings. It was 9:30 and I had a kitchen to clean and lunches to make.
But I went upstairs anyway, to the bedroom with the best view above the treetops, and there it was: the supermoon eclipse, in progress.
Huh, I thought. That’s kind of neat that I got to see it.
I watched it for a while. It took longer than I expected, but I stayed, watching. And I felt sort of peaceful, watching this slow silent beautiful celestial thing.
I began to think of it as a metaphor for this incredibly hard year for my family. How it has been, for us, one of the darkest. But we know that if we are patient the light will return to the sky, and to life, too.
So I watched the moon disappear, excited for its eventual return, for the sense of hope and renewal that the new light would bring.
And I stared into the darkness and waited. And waited.
And the light didn’t come back.
The clouds must have moved in after all. And that, I realized, is the true metaphor for how this year has been. I’m focusing on one darkness and another sneaks in. I think I’ve identified The Crisis of the Day, and before bedtime another looms larger.
That night, the night of the eclipse, I gave up and went to bed, the sky still dark. My 5:45 alarm was going off whether I stayed up staring at a black sky or not. I still had the kitchen to clean and lunches to make and children to convince to get on the school bus even though they will be tired.
I am fine because I have to be fine for the sake of the family. For this particular set of crises, that’s my role. I don’t always want to talk about it, because I’m so in it that what I want is an escape. I want light. I want to hear about the fun and interesting things you are doing with your time not spent at Urgent Care. I want to hear about your creative projects that don’t involve carving an urn.
I hope that next year will bring more light.