September, 2015, we stood at the edge of the silent street and stared at it, the eclipse of the supermoon, a blood moon. Down the street a neighbor, also in his pajamas stared motionless into the sky. Up the street I heard children running out of their house shouting for their parents to hurry, to see the moon, to see the magic.
My vision was suddenly clouded by a memory of another time, being woken in the dead of night by my grandmother who sneaked me out of bed and walked me, groggy and confused, barefoot down a dirt lane to her house where hot chocolate waited. Outside in the sky, Comet West tore past our planet. I have no idea how it looks in outer space but to a nine year old girl on the surface of Earth it was a fat, smeary star, fuzzy around the edges. The greater novelty was being out under the stars with my grandmother and a mug of cocoa while my parents slept in the house next door, completely clueless as to my whereabouts.
It was February, 1976. Mystics claim that comets portend coming cataclysmic events. That summer my parents would divorce and my life would change radically. But right then there was hot chocolate and magic. As far as I knew, all was right with the world.
But forward to 2015 I stood in the street with my family in a surreal diorama with neighbors, all of us staring entranced at the sky like a scene from a weird sci-fi movie.
I wrapped my arms around my littlest boy, my mouth nuzzled against his ear. “Remember me in 2033 when this comes around again. Be sure to bring your kids outside to watch this with them, okay?”
“I will Mom, I promise.”