There will be a full lunar eclipse tonight, which we in North America should at least be able to see, if the skies stay clear (keep your fingers crossed, right now we have scattered clouds). In Sweden, you have to look at it right before sunrise. Not since 1638 has there been a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. I am setting my alarm clock to get up at 2 AM to see some of it. Imagine the old vikings, celebrating around a bonfire on the solstice, and then suddenly the moonlight disappears and the moon turns dark red - how could that not be seen as a sign of some sort?
In honor of these amazing celestial phenomena, I also would like to share a great moon poem by Molly Fisk:
slips down the rungs of its blue ladder
into indigo. A late-quarter moon hangs
in the air above the ridge like a broken plate
and shines on us all, on the new deputy
almost asleep in his four-by-four,
lulled by the crackling song of the dispatcher,
on the bartender, slowly wiping a glass
and racking it, one eye checking the game.
It shines down on the fox’s red and grey life,
as he stills, a shadow beside someone’s gate,
listening to winter. Its pale gaze caresses
the lovers, curled together under a quilt,
dreaming alone, and shines on the scattered
ashes of terrible fires, on the owl’s black flight,
on the whelks, on the murmuring kelp,
on the whale that washed up six weeks ago
at the base of the dunes, and it shines
on the backhoe that buried her.
(c) Molly Fisk, reprinted with permission, and you can read more about her work on her website.