Super Blue Blood Moon

Everything seems wrong this week. My mom is in the hospital, I’m only registered for two classes, and Jet’s adoption seems as out of reach as ever. My days have been chaotic and tearful, and despite my best attempts at remaining positive, I feel a bit like Job, sitting among the ashes. I need to entirely loose my hold and give the whole situation to God.

Seven days ago, the world witnessed an event that hadn’t occurred for a century and a half. That week was also the best I had felt in a long time. Each day brought me many joys and restored my hope. Here’s one such event that I believe, having witnessed, will help bring me through hard times like now.

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Photo by Yosh Ginsu on Unsplash

January 31

Well, I had the most amazing day, and it has hardly begun. I set my alarm for 4am so I could catch the portion of the super blue blood moon that my geographical region would permit viewing.

I had the campus to myself. I set up my tripod in a good area, and was able to focus on the moon’s surface with my long lens and after adjusting a few settings. Confident that I could be successful with this setup, I ducked indoors for the next hour to avoid frostbite.

Finally, it was time to begin taking photos. I waited outside, freezing for a good bit, most likely pacing the length of the lake, taking a shot once every few minutes. Nobody came by except for a man and his dog.

I can’t emphasize the waiting and pacing enough. I hadn’t dressed sufficiently for the cold in my excitement, and did everything I could to stay warm as I felt the heat draining from my extremities. The minutes felt like hours, and that hour felt like a day.

Yet, I felt God’s presence surrounding me. I knew he was about to show me something spectacular. I could hear my heart rejoicing:

Better is one day in Your courts
Than a thousand elsewhere.

I watched as the moon sank lower and yellowed like ripening fruit.

Eventually, it touched the treeline. Desperate to see more, I crossed campus searching for a better view. I climbed to the top of our student center and found that the balcony was locked.

I moved out to our athletic fields to see the dawn that was breaking fast, with the moon nowhere in sight.

I started packing away my tripod and walking down the stairs. That’s when an older woman pulled up in an SUV, carrying a Nikon, with the same apparent objective as me.

I told her the moon had just set. We decided to climb the building just to be sure it was gone.

Gone? Long. Too bad.

I showed her the pictures I had gotten earlier that morning. I was embarrassed when she pulled out hers. Her lens was so powerful that she could have filled the screen with a quarter of the moon. I could see all the details on the surface.

I learned that this woman was a former Wellesley professor now in retirement, currently writing two books and chasing photography as a hobby. I wished her the best of luck as she got into her car, declining her offer of a lift.

Anyway, for a few crappy pictures of the moon looking roughly the size of a dime, sleep deprivation (less than 4 hours), and barely escaping frostbite, I experienced some quality time with God, I’m one of the privileged few to see the beginning of this magnificent event, and I feel completely at peace — and that makes it completely worth it for me.


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