When she saw it, she thought,
There’s a little bowl of milk in the sky.
And she wanted it.
So she chased it--
Down the sidewalk,
through the garden,
past the field,
and by the pond.
But Kitten never seemed to get closer.
from Kitten’s First Full Moon
written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Caldecott Award Winner
Total Lunar eclipses are not that rare. They’re visible from a particular place on Earth every year or two. I haven’t seen one yet. It’s hard for me to stay up late enough.
Maybe this Sunday night (January 20) will be the night. I’ll set my alarm clock in case I accidentally fall asleep. The eclipse will begin at 10:33 p.m. Totality starts at 11:41 and will last until 12:43. The last partial phase will last until 1:50 a.m. on Monday morning. I probably won’t stay up for that! (Those times work in the Eastern United States. If you will be somewhere else, check here: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/ and type in your location.)
This will be a super moon. Its orbit will bring it closest to Earth making it appear very large.
It will also be a blood moon. It will appear reddish as the Earth’s shadow comes between the sun and the full moon.
And it will be a wolf moon, the first full moon in January. (Each month has its own full-moon name. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names
Lunar lore and lunar legends abound from the scary (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is probably the most famous) to the sublime (Cerridwen is the Celtic keeper of the Cauldron of Knowledge and Inspiration).
A lunar calendar is the timekeeping method of choice for many traditions including Judaism and some Asian cultures.
The twelve months in the Jewish calendar are 29 or 30 days long. They each begin at the new moon. To correct to the 365/366 solar calendar, so holidays come at the right time of the year, an extra month is added according to a complicated formula. That’s why holidays are sometimes early or late. (Easter follows the lunar cycle.)
Chinese New Year will be ushered in on February 5th this year, the Year of the Pig. Henry Ford, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Hilary Clinton are (were) all Pigs.
According to https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/pig.htm, Pigs are diligent, compassionate, and generous. They are goal-setters and goal keepers. They have a great sense of responsibility to finish what they are engaged in.
You can find your Chinese Zodiac sign by looking at the graphic on the placemat at your favorite Chinese restaurant. According to that, my husband (Dog) and I (Dragon) are not particularly compatible. We sometimes bring out the worst in each other. But after over 34 years, that’s bound to happen! Sometimes.
Now the problem is what to do for the hour of totality Sunday night/Monday morning. Thoughtful introspection comes to mind, but I’ll be tired and I’m a little realistic. I’ll start out thinking about the Cauldron of Knowledge and Inspiration. And see how long it takes before all that thinking and watching leads me back to bed.
-—stay curious! (and rested)
I’m almost finished with The Clock Maker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. It is part historical fiction, part mystery, and part ghost story. I like it a lot, but it’s slow going for me. More next week.