Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Saw the lunar eclipse. The moon rose with a little slice out of it above the eastern hills around 6 PM. I watched it, then went off to UUCE to see if anyone would show up for the Impromptu Full Moon Ritual. No one showed up until another organizer appeared at 6:35, five minutes after the start time. We traipsed about the UUCE parking lot to see if the moon was visible from the lot, but it was too low in the sky to get above the wonderful oak trees surrounding the church. I said that I wanted to go to the Eugene reservoir on College Hill at 6:45. Another person showed up just as I was leaving. I paused to speak with her long enough for a choir member to bump his Prius into Mark's truck (twice) while trying to get out of his parking space. I moved the truck for him.

By 7 PM the moon was an umber ember in the sky near Regulus and Saturn. As I drove below the reservoir, I noticed that there were way more cars around than usual and remembered that Jerry Oltion had been on the news talking about the eclipse. So every diligent parent in a ten mile radius had brought their kids out to expose them to astronomy; this was cool from a higher education point of view, but not quite so cool from a parking point of view.

There was quite a buzz from the crowd milling about the Eugene Astronomy Club's telescopes. Somehow I managed to find Jerry's and Kathy's telescopes. I'd brought my harp, so I started playing it -- partially because I figured it would be a way for Mark to find me and partially because it would be fun to harp under a lunar eclipse. It was kind of funny, because when I started playing the folks around got much more quiet, and the buzz seemed to get less frantic.

I sat and played for a while. Several folks said "thanks," and one woman asked if I could play Clare de Lune. I managed to pick it out a little. (Thank you for not asking for Greensleeves.) It was relaxing and wonderful and I played until the moon started to come back. (OK, I played a little Smoke on the Water to end things.)
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