Beautiful in the Shadows

My eyes look like that of a Basset hound… red and drooping. Between the pine pollen and three hours of sleep, I feel the burn in my eyes like a mother with a new born. Fortunately, for me, I just dropped the boys off at school and a hot shower and a cup of tea will get me back on track.

But this tired was rewarded with the most glorious lunar eclipse last night.

It was magical. It filled my soul.

I set the alarm, but it wasn’t needed. I was too excited to sleep. When the earth’s shadow began to cover the moon, I went to the boys room to wake them up. (Something a mother of a newborn never does!) I had a flash back to my parents waking me up for a lunar eclipse while we were at the beach on vacation. I can remember the bunk room vividly and all of us on the deck watching while listening to the ocean tides pound the shore. I swear I could smell the salt air last night. I was mistaken, it was just stinky, sweat of my three growing boys.

My middle jumped up out of bed with a shot and was giddy and wild. The wolf is definitely his totem. My teenager, made his way slowly up the stairs and we remembered back to watching the lunar eclipse on the winter solstice two years ago. It was just the two of us and we ate a plate full of cookies and drank hot chocolate while wrapped up in blankets on the deck. That, too, was a night I will never forget; a favorite.

In our living room the south facing wall is nothing but glass. We rearranged the furniture and watched all snuggled up and decided to go out when the moon fully eclipsed. Chris shuffled in unable to sleep through Ry’s wild mood and our constant chatter. He didn’t say much, but I could see him smiling in the moonlight and the two boys carried on giggling and laughing over silly boy stuff. My sweet Charlie then appeared and climbed onto my lap and had the wonderful, imaginative observations that children naturally have. As it was near full eclipse, he thought the moon looked like a pig snout with a big white smile underneath.  His blonde hair glowed in the darkness and in that moment, I wanted to hold him forever.

Even the dogs joined us and took the opportunity to sneak in some extra attention. We talked about how we learned earlier that day that there was a 300 year period without lunar eclipses. So George Washington, Mozart, Napoleon etc. never got to experience the beauty of a full moon eclipse. We talked about Passover and learned a bit more about that as we waited. Ry continued to be as silly as ever and it was such a joyous moment in time.

As I looked at the beautiful glow of the moon, now a warm golden washed in burnt sienna and venetian red, I thought of my friend Lori and how many walls we created to be that color with glazes and plaster. It reminded me of the light in Italy. My friend Joy sent some silly texts of song lyrics and howling and I smiled as I  imagined her dancing ( I am sure she did) under this moon.

As we sat in the shadows, I felt like I could feel my heart glowing the same color. It was warm, full and allowed me to see and feel the beauty of being human and getting to experience the love these moments bring. We are told to shine bright and show our true colors, but tonight the moon taught me that in the shadow of something great, we may even shine more beautifully than we could ever imagine. And as I watched my guys laughing in the shadows of this magical night, they never looked more beautiful.

We all went out to the deck. What a perfect night. It was crystal clear and the moon, stars and planets looked almost reachable. The sky was the most perfect color of charcoal, the blue spruce’s black silhouette was only made better by the soft glow of Fort Collins below. It was stunning.

The guys one by one quietly made their way back to bed. I couldn’t turn away. Once cold, I went back and curled up in the chair in the living room and just soaked up the intense beauty and the quiet of the house. Never is there better medicine for the soul than a night like that.





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