What a treat it was to be on a motorcycle in the cool morning air on October 8, 2014 to see a “blood moon” setting through patches of intense flog as the sun was rising. A lunar eclipse occurred on that day which is a rare event. I happen to live in a time zone where the sun was rising as the moon was setting at the highest point of the eclipse leaving the phenomena known as a blood moon. It was a Halloween oriented sensation accentuated by the motorcycle ride. I felt lucky enough to be up at that hour to see such a rare thing, but to also be on a motorcycle exposed to the various elements made it more memorable.
A blood moon is caused by the moon being on the exact opposite end of the earth in relation to the sun. The blood color is caused by the shadow of the earth cast against the surface of the moon. It’s infrequent that the position of the moon is in that particular location at the same time that the earth is positioned around the sun to cast such a shadow through space. It’s a fairly epic event if the science is considered. When that sensation is included to the man-made machinery of a motorcycle and the natural low-hovering dense fog coming from the thick cool air—it is an overwhelming sensation. Just days prior a massive storm came through my area saturating the ground with heavy rain that was still trying to escape back into the sky through the evaporation process. But with the weak rays of the sun during these fall months, there wasn’t enough energy to pull that moisture back into the formation of clouds. That leaves all those escapees of water molecules stuck in limbo in the form of fog until the next sunrise can finish the job on the following day. Because of all these elements together, it was a picturesque morning to ride a motorcycle that even the best Hollywood cinematographer couldn’t have conceived.
Yet in the cars sitting in traffic with me an additional element was present that was even more Halloween-like—the drivers were oblivious to these miracles. They sat stiff armed to their steering wheels zoned into their present condition of selling their day to employment like zombies seeking the blood of their next victim. Not a soul seemed inclined to view the blood moon through their windows as the fog hazed lazily on the horizon. Their minds were otherwise consumed.
Riding motorcycles has a way of heightening all the senses, so noticing such a thing had a more dramatic effect. But it had been a long time since I had been in the presence of so many people who were clearly tuned-out to the miracles of life. I was as alone as though I were on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without another person close by for hundreds of miles.
That suited me just fine. The blood moon seemed to understand as it hovered above the fog like a ghost that had once lived but was otherwise obscure, maintaining the ability to view the world while being invisible to the daily happenings of existence. But it isn’t we who are the ghosts, and brain-dead zombies. It is those moving about under the light of the blood moon, and the fog in the cool morning air that are unaware of the world around them in the same fashion that insects have no ideal that a human being is sitting nearby aware of their every move.
I thought of all the times I fished insects out of my swimming pool during the summer. From the perspective of the drowning insects, it must seem like a miracle to them to have a strange mass pull their bodies out of the water to the safety of a pool edge. To them, my saving them was a miracle—I gave them another day or two of life and they were probably grateful for about a fraction of a second. The same consciousness was apparent in the morning traffic of the blood moon. Like the insects, the people were unaware of the world above them, only that they had to get to work, to drop off their children at school, at the day care, and what radio station they wanted to tune in to. They were concerned about their coffee, and the temperature inside their rolled up windows and stared like zombies forward toward their work day and the trading of time for money.
Soon the blood moon was gone and the sun was up and the fog ran for the sky. The world of the night, the fog and the blood moon was gone to history, just as most of our lives rise and fall in the blink of an eye casting illusions to the world that appear to be one thing but are caused by something else. To the insects of the world they look up at such blood moons and think that the surface of the strange orb floating in the sky turned red. But what they don’t know is that the cause of the effect is the earth, not the moon and the change in hue is related directly to the sun which is stationed firmly in its place within the solar system floating around the Milky Way like a clock gear heading for destiny. The cause of the light cast upon our own lives is often obscured by shadows and our appearance often appears to be something that it is not. But for a brief morning in October of 2014 under a blood moon, there was honesty to humanity that cast insight beyond the illusions found in the light of day. That even with all the miracles of science and the scope of activity that made the blood moon, mankind was still insect-like in their perception of reality and curiosity about their environment.