I was jet-lagged (out of my mind) so it wasn’t hard staying up to watch the last total lunar eclipse “in TEN years”. I mean, in ten years who knows where I’ll be. I might not be around anymore. Better not miss this one.

So at 3:30 a.m., because I was still awake anyway, I dragged myself out of my very warm bed to stand in the January air to watch this thing.

The dog thought I was crazy: How come we are going out now?



Just a full moon.

I went back in. Went to the email my husband had sent me (from upstairs). Oh, 3:41 Greenwich Mean Time. I looked that up. That would be 4:41 a.m. where I was. Well, I’ll just wait. So I filed some papers and at 4:41 I went back outside.


I think I see something.

I went back in again and came out 15 minutes later. Yup. I definitely saw something. There was a crescenty thing on the left side of the moon. But why was it like –gray? Shouldn’t it be black?

(I hadn’t read the part in the article my husband had sent me about a blood lunar eclipse.) I tend not to read my husbands emails very thoroughly. I figure – if it’s important he will tell me. It’s like when he gives me a newspaper restaurant review with the words we should give this a try scrawled on top. I just read the headlines of the article and then I say things like – “What kind of food do they have?” And he says, “Why don’t you read it?” Or, I say – “Are they open Mondays?” and he says, “Why don’t you read it before you ask me?” Sometimes though, I fool him – which is much easier than reading the article.  I say – “Um. What did they mean by that?” and then he THINKS I’ve read it and tells me what the article is about.

A quarter of an hour later I went out again. Yes it was definitely an eclipse and it was definitely reddish.

But then I was curious. It seemed to me that lunar (and solar) eclipses are in the news a lot. In fact, there were 5 eclipses (2 solar, 3 lunar) in 2018, and in 2020 there will be six. Some will be Partial and some will be Penumbral, (sun, earth and moon perfectly aligned – which just creates shadows but doesn’t block out the moon completely – which certainly seems rarer, but perhaps less dramatic)  but still; I won’t have to wait ten years.

I went to bed – thinking about celestial things.

P.S. Have you ever noticed that on a really slow news week, inevitably, someone writes the headline: There Definitely Is Water On Mars. We’re pretty sure this time.


  • Patricia is a freelance writer who grew up in New York and has lived the last 30 years in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the USA and Switzerland. She has received honorable mention in Glimmer train, Judge's Pick in the Boise 101-Fiction Award. Her children's picture book was shortlisted for the 2021 International Rubery Book Award.