I kind of naively thought that the ‘blood moon’ was maybe a figure of speech, like the blue moon. But it was seriously reddish brown, like dried blood. If I were a shepherd way back in the day with no handheld device news, I’d have thought the world was ending.

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We celebrated by building a huge fire that looked like a jenga game with a monolith on top. There was a massive log that has been a mainstay of three previous fires that just won’t give up the ghost; we positioned it on top like an anvil or a shark’s head. That fire burned for 12 hours.

We sat around it as our friends filtered in, found seats, told stories. The kids alternately stuck long sticks in the fire and ran around in the misty field. The moon rose slowly and we waited for something to happen.

I had made a triple apple crisp with almond meal instead of flour so all our gluten-free friends could enjoy, and we tried three different warm rum drinks, settling on this one:

  • 1 Tablespoon honey, at bottom of the mug
  • 1 jigger of dark rum, pour in generously
  • 1/4 lemon, squeezed over the honey and rum
  • Top off mug with hot tea made with chocolate Pu-erh (Numi), stir

Yum! Those were a hit. While we drank and ate and talked, slowly the moon started to darken. It was slow and steady; there was talk of the eclipse being like a chunk that Pac-Man bit out, then the moon as cheese, the story of the crab and rabbit in the moon, and all sorts of other moony things.

When the moon was almost totally eclipsed, we caravan-ed over to Walden pond and snuck in through the back way. The place was littered with moon-gazer lanterns all along the very dry shore.

The water line is the lowest I’ve ever seen it. And the night was the darkest it would be. Six adults jumped in (the sleepy kids watched… it was a total reversal of the norm). The water was still and cold and black. And the red moon hung over the trees. It was beautiful.

2015 Sep 28 60470We bundled up and hiked back to our bonfire and watched the reverse eclipse. The brightness of that first exposed sliver was shocking. The mists hung over the field all night, beautifully amplifying the moon and the effect of its whiteness on the landscape. Silhouettes of trees were black black against their shifting strands. Grumpy kids, heavy lids and stumbly motions the next day were a small price to pay for this memory.


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