Under the Moon, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

On Sunday, September 27 the world experienced a total lunar eclipse and super moon, a natural phenomenon that will not occur again until 2033.  When my children were young, I would keep them up past their bedtimes or wake them from a solemn sleep to witness various celestial events similar to the current lunar eclipse.  I was thrilled that one of my four children remember these adventures from their childhood with affection.  It was special to look up into the vast universe and witness these beautiful and mysterious occurrences with my children as we created educational and unique memories.

Again I was able to share this experience with two of my grown children.  As the reported best viewing time approached, our family positioned ourselves outside in the parking lot of my apartment complex.  The evening was partly cloudy with clearing areas making it possible to see the moon on and off.  As we gazed with tilted heads toward the heavens, we noticed we were not alone.  Many of our neighbors joined us to see this spectacular happening.  They were just as curious as we were and we heard questions from the other groups gathered such as "did we miss it?", "when will it turn red?" and other inquiries about the lunar event.  As more of us gathered, I realized we had joined under the vast sky with neighbors we did not know.

The star gazing event brought us together in an organic way as we gathered to view a rare event in the evening sky and it became a social event with neighbors exchanging names and sharing similar experiences.  I learned that a family in the unit next door are moving out and the young girls across the way share a mutual friend.  Another neighbor lived in Alaska for years and we compared stories about the beautiful summer sun in the 49th state.  What I thought was going to be a sighting of historical significance became a connection with the human race.  The blood moon brought a group of people who pass by each other everyday together and in a rare and wonderful way.  The Divine shows up "when two or more are gathered" ( Matthew 18:20) and I was blessed to have another opportunity to connect with my fellow man and children in the light of the fall moon.