The blood moon and the night streets of town

Apr 16, 2014 By Steven R. Peck

There's only one way to see a lunar eclipse that peaks at 2 a.m.

So I stayed up until 2 a.m. Tuesday to try to get a look at the "blood moon."

I wanted a landmark of some sort in the foreground, so I got on my red scooter and buzzed around town looking for the right spot.

One thing I wasn't expecting was how many other people were "out there" at that hour.

Some night shifters at the postal annex. Two young women walking down High School Hill. Silhouetted citizens in windows above Main Street buildings. A squad car rolling past slowly.

I thought about some sort of Tonkin Stadium foreground image and pulled into the parking area there. There sat two cars, pulled side by side so the drivers could speak to each other. I heard their voices and kept going.

I'd considered and rejected several sites as the eclipse deepened. Finally, an angle with the Teton Hotel seemed the best. I putted into the rear parking lot, rigged up the camera with a different lens, braced the apparatus on one of the park benches, and looked up.

Clouds had rolled in. The blood moon was gone, as were the stars.

But the time wasn't wasted. No picture, but a calm, odd experience I hadn't had before. And I found that the thing I liked about the blood moon was still the thing I liked about it even when the clouds had stolen the view.

The moon doesn't notice us. It and the sun and the Earth were doing their deep-space dance with neither participation or interference from any Republican or Democrat, from any clergyman, web designer, coach, general, principal, doctor, lawyer or newspaperman.

Or night owl on a quiet sidewalk.

The blood moon. It was happening Monday night, far above us, and all we could do was watch.

As important as we convince ourselves we are, once in awhile it doesn't hurt to be treated indifferently by the moon and the clouds.

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