Once again I woke my family up in the middle of the night. Sean does a better job of waking up than Jim and the only dog that wakes up well is Sean’s pug Jezzie. The other two dogs would rather sleep even when I go outside. I have been waking the entire family up for almost two years now as I have been writing RSO Astronomy and Earth 2. They have been waking up to see meteor showers, alignments of the planets, and finally a lunar eclipse. I say finally because the other two were hidden by clouds. I didn’t wake them up for those. Jezzie and I were the only two who got up and went back to bed after giving Jezzie a treat of course.
We went outside to watch the eclipse about 20 minutes before the total eclipse. As I watched Earth’s shadow block more and then more of the sunlight that would have reflected off the moon, I felt the same way I do when I travel. There are so many cool and amazing things to see on and from this planet. I wish my atoms gave me a memory of all the things, living and not, they had been a part of before being part of me. I wish reincarnation were real, with you being able to remember all the past lives; I wish I could travel to every corner of Earth and see what is there; and I wish I could have seen the world as it has been over all of geological history. Although if that could happen I would probably be dead in a short amount of time after being exposed to a virus or bacteria I have never encountered before.
I was at a group retreat once. There were about 50 adults and we were asked a series of questions. We wrote down the answers and then everyone shared theirs. One of the questions was what is your dream birthday? I didn’t hesitate; I knew the answer immediately, my 100th. LOL, I was the only person who answered in that vein. Ah well, I just do not ever want to stop seeing the amazingly cool things the world has to offer.
While I was watching the moon it occurred to me if you could travel back and forth in time you would probably be killed if you went too far back and encountered people. Your best bet would be if you encountered people who were more curious than they were superstitious. Although maybe that wouldn’t matter; the Jain people in India had their superstitions but you would probably be safe if you traveled back in time to a Jain civilization.
These fanciful things were what I was thinking about as my 14-year-old fell asleep in my lap while I watched the moon come out of its eclipse. This is an interesting age for a parent who has been as close to their child as I am to this one. He is growing up and away, as he should be. I have worked hard to make sure he has the skills he needs to go out in the world without me holding his hand. But still… He doesn’t fall asleep in my lap very often any more. When he was little he used to get in bed with me every morning. Life is a journey. His and mine are entering a new phase.
Watching the eclipse was a visceral reminder that the journey is on a ball that is hurtling through space. Isn’t it all just amazing when you think about it? Sean informed me the other day that given the chance of exploring the universe he would do it, even if it meant never returning to Earth and never seeing his family again. He wondered if I would do the same. I would do it with him, I told him. He said, “No Mom, you would have to leave all your family behind, and you would never see any of us again including me.” I told him, “No way. There was not a chance.” I guess I am just going to have to get up in the middle of the night every once in a while and imagine what is out there instead.