Nature, time and patience are three great physicians. H.G. BohnSomeone should have told Mr. Bohn about the lunar eclipse on a cloudy night. All the patience in the world would not make it visible before it disappeared into the night.
It was 12:40am. I leaped from my bed. Ran to the front hallway. Donned coat and hat and gloves and scarf and boots and ran out the front door. I raced down the sidewalk and stood at the end of the driveway and looked up into the sky.
I turned this way and that. Spun around a few times for good measure. I searched and peered into the night, but the moon was shrouded. A ghostly galleon moonlit night it wasn't.
What had been a clear, starry night when I'd gone to bed had become a cloudy sky. I could see the moon, just barely, through streaky white clouds. I could see it and I think I saw a corner of the sun's shadow starting to move across its face. And then... the streaks began to mass together. Fast. And the sky went white.
I glanced to the west. More clouds moving in. To the east. Clear skies.
The weatherfolk had predicted a Chinook. At least that would be some consolation for missing the eclipse. When a Chinook rolls in, clouds arrive from the west, racing down the windward side of the Rockies, bringing with them warmer climes. Big time warmer climes. Like 20 degree Celsius swings in temperature. From sub-arctic to near balmy in a matter of hours.
Hmmm.... not yet a Chinook. No wind and baby, it was cold outside.
Alas, Chinook or not, the eclipse was not visible. And while I could see some stars to the East, above me, in that vital quadrant of the sky where the giant yellow orb of the moon hung suspended, there was only cloud.
C.C., who had forgotten about the 12:42 eclipse, came to the front door and watched me standing in the driveway, spinning around in a circle, looking for some sign of clearing, some open space in the cloud above.
"What are you doing?" he called out.
"I'm looking for the eclipse," I called back.
He dipped his head out from beneath the overhang of the front porch, viewed the cloud-filled sky and stated. "Won't see much. They said it would be cloudy on the news."
"You knew it was cloudy?" I asked, incredulous. "You knew and didn't stop me running out?" It was now 12:55am. I could be sleeping...(did I mention I have lots of patience, though some might call it stubborness and was determined to see the clouds part so I could witness the eclipse).
"You were gone before I knew it," he laughed. When I'd woken and raced out the door, he had been watching a movie in the family room. All he'd seen of me was a streak of movement, moving fast, like a meteor shower streaking through the night. Oh right. I didn't get to see the promised meteor shower either due to the cloud cover.... "And, like I could have stopped you finding out for yourself?" he added.
He had a point. I'm an experiential learning. I like to find things out for myself. Even when science, and a host of heavenly happenings state otherwise, I like to check it out myself to make sure it's not just some illusion blocking my view. It's patience. Not stubborness.
And anyway, I never trust the weatherman in Calgary. The weather can change faster than he can update his meteorological charts. (We don't have a weatherwoman in Calgary so I'm not being sexist!)
But really, does it matter if I saw the eclipse or not?
It happened. First one in over 600 years. A lunar eclipse on Winter Solstice. And, a meteor shower that could be seen with the naked eye due to the darkness of the night sky.
It happened and while I did not see the movement of the sun shadowing the moon, I did get to wish upon the night. I did get to stand in the quiet of the street and spin around and around looking up into the sky searching for a clear patch through which to view the magic and make a wish-- which I can't tell you because everyone knows, telling on what you wished negates the wish. And would you want to risk negating the possibility of world peace just because your curious about my wish? Didn't think so.
Fortunately, our neighbours were still all sleeping, probably dreaming about world peace. No one else was dancing in the night, spinning in the dark. They must have listened to the news as well.
Other than C.C., the only other witness to my escapade was a big white hare who stopped, mid-hop in the middle of the road to watch me spinning in circles.
I think he might have thought he was seeing a ghost of Christmases past...
Then again, perhaps he's a relative of the jolly old fat man and was checking up to make sure all good boys and girls were tucked safely in their beds for a long winter's nap. You know, an elf in bunny costume.
Oh dear, what if he really was a Santa minion and tells the North Pole cadre my spinny tale of searching for the moon on a cloud covered night and he tells them it was actually a drunken caper? What if Santa is sooooo disappointed in me he doesn't even bother to drop off a lump of coal!
Oh no. Gotta get busy doing good deeds between now and the 25th.
But then, Santa's pretty old. Maybe he'll forget before Christmas Eve. And maybe, it will be a cloudy night when his sleigh sets out loaded with toys and maybe, he won't be able to see where he's going and he'll need someone to help and I'll be there with my bright shiny brandnew GPS that I know I'm getting for Christmas and I''ll have opened early because... well I just can't stand not knowing what's in all those presents under the tree and I like to sneak in and check them out and them tape them all back together again and nobody knows I've done it and I'll hear about Santa's dilemma because on Christmas Eve I'll remember to listen to the news and I'll dive under the tree and say something like.... "do you think anyone bought me a GPS so that I can save Christmas".... and C.C. will have to say, "I did." and he'll hand me the package and I'll rip it open and race out the door, without bothering to don coat and hat and scarf and gloves and boots because everyone knows on Santa's sleigh magic happens and I won't feel cold all wrapped up in his magic blanket and I'll race into the night sky, meet Santa somewhere around the tail end of the little dipper and say.... "Hey Santa! I've got a GPS. I can lead your sleigh tonight!"
And all of the reindeer will love me... except Rudolph of course who will be upset because he thought his shiny red nose would do the job but he didn't realize that the cloud wasn't really cloud, it was actually all those lost words and images spiralling through cyberspace, clouding up the atmosphere in their quest to be seen and heard. And Rudolph's nose, so shiny and bright, reminded them of a Ctrl.Alt.Del. keystroke and they were ganging up to take a byte out of his bulbuous extremity when I rode in and Rudolph, the ungrateful swine, I mean Reindeer, doesn't even know I saved his life. But that's okay because I'm not there for his gratitude or my own gratification. I don't have time for petty in-fighting. I'm just there to lend a hand on Christmas Eve!
And Santa will greet me and my GPS like his best buddy and he will forget about my alleged drunken caper on the night of the solar eclipse..
and Christmas will be saved for all the boys and girls in the world.
All because C.C. bought me a GPS for Christmas.
Oh, that and the fact, I still believe in magic, even when I can't see it happening in the sky above.