Extraordinary Events and Lunar Ravings
This morning there was a lunar eclipse. I love eclipses. I don’t love mornings. Still, I was determined to get up and see this great convergence of the shadow of my planet fall across the next closest astronomical object. What an awesome spectacle!!! How could I forgive myself if I missed it?? (BTW, *everything* underlined is a hyperlink.)
How, indeed. Particularly since just last night I did the nearly unforgivable and missed a triple play by my beloved Tribe. A Triple Play! This sort of thing rarely happens, and what’s more, it NEVER HAPPENS TO MY TEAM. Exciting enough that we beat the Twins (box score here, they’re a tough team. (Batgirl, I miss you terribly.) But a triple play – that’s just unreal. (I’m forgiven this once, because baseball time I ‘should’ have been having was spent instead with super excellent friends at an intimate concert by Lynn Wiles, rather than frittering it away mindlessly: one of my occasional guilty secrets.) There could be no excuse good enough for missing the eclipse. That would be 2 strikes, but 2 Really BIG strikes, big enough to count for the full 3 strikes and I’d be out.
Rick set the alarm for 5:15 and I set the TV to turn on at 4:20 (because one appliance is never enough… we’re reeeeealllly not morning people) and we snuggled in for *sigh* what we figured would be an unsatisfying nap of a night’s sleep.
When the TV came on, I was instantly awake.
“Instantly Awake” doesn’t often happen for me; mostly I sleep fitfully for an hour or more through loud morning news and then wake crossly to some inane fashion or beauty segment, which makes me want to do just the opposite, specifically to spite the squeaky-voiced advice-giving Barbie Doll.
I was fully ready to pop out of bed (surprised by my verve!) (even willing to use exclamation points at 4:22am!!), and then the Early Today newsmouths had the nerve to talk sports. I thought, “Oh, good. A replay of the triple play to start my day.” I was soooo wrong!
They only talked about 2 games. The Yankees game and some National League game (Rick later explained it was the Mets game, make sense…New Yorkers being consistently exclusively New Yorky…). I didn’t catch the National League game simply because there was so much wrong with the so called “Yankees” game. First of all, it's not a Yankees game if it's not played in New York. It was the TIGERS GAME. They played it at Comerica Park, the Tigers won it, nay WIPED THE FIELD with the Spankmees at Comerica Park, when you look at the box scores, the Yankees are listed on top and the Tigers are listed at the bottom, it’s a Tigers Game. NOT a Yankees Game. By the way, just to confirm: yes, that was a baseball game they played, not a football game.
Second, the smile-on-a-stick with hair at the desk said it was a “must-win” for the Yankees. Hmm. The Yankees, who are 8 games behind the first-place BoSox, and struggling to maintain their second place grip on the wild card slot for the play offs. And not a "must-win" for the Tigers??? Have you NOT been paying attention to the Central? Oh, what am I thinking. You’re in New York, you’re on at ZeroDarkThirty in the morning, who’s up that early except NO ONE, you can say what you want, even word your entire national broadcast as if it were a local show. Who cares about the Central Division race? Who cares that Cleveland and Detroit have been neck and neck almost the entire season? Who cares that the entire Central Division has been far more compelling baseball than the limp bats and sieve-like gloves of the Yankees? Every time someone brings up this year’s (or any year’s) substandard play to a New York fan, they inevitably say something inane, like “count the rings”, but when you have all the money in the world to buy all the talent in the world, it boils down to going to the store and buying the rings.
So last night’s miserable loss to Some Nameless Team, Probably From The Unspeakable Midwest (and not the phenomenal trouncing of the Tigers over the Yankees, which is in fact what it was, please notice the difference) made the early morning news, whereas a once in DECADES occurrence (for the Tribe; this is the 3rd this season but only the 1st for an American League team), a TRIPLE PLAY, something that happens less frequently than a lunar eclipse, especially to a medium-market team like The Cleveland Indians, Did Not.
That’s what I said. I woke up to watch the eclipse, caught a bit of the sports news, and not a word of the extraordinary play was mentioned.
I was really angry that my enjoyment of this (these) extraordinary event(s) was nearly ruined.
I took a few deep breaths, adjusted my robe, drank in the view. Aaahhhh.
I stared out at the wonder of the moon as it was beginning to be covered by the shadow of my home, and I marveled. Just marveled. Not for the first time in my life, I reflected on how it looked very like a baseball stuck in the sky. When I was very small I imagined a number of stories to explain how that giant baseball or cookie got stuck up there in the sky, and its rescue always involved my grampa using his longest ladder and climbing up there to get it for me. When it was a baseball, it was Ernie Banks who hit it because at the time I was living in Chicago, and when it was a cookie my gramma baked it and my brother and I would share it. Now I was watching it slowly ‘disappear’ behind a shadow, which at this point was still just black.
After a while I returned to the warmth of my husband’s arms, alternately grumbling Yosemite Sam-like (but coherently) about the irresponsible news anchors and raving about the moon. I reset the TV for a later time and turned a shoulder to the fools from New York, comforted that they were not only missing the brilliance and spectacle of other cities’ baseball teams, but the wonders of the natural world happening right outside their studio at that very moment.
At 5:15 the alarm clock jarred us awake to a nearly covered moon. The shadow was beginning its color change, but not enough to predict what the color would be. It wasn’t a baseball anymore. We turned off the alarm and returned to bed temporarily. We woke a bit later to a black cherry moon floating in a deep blue martini sky. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. I wish you were there. I'm so glad we were.
There is nothing sacreligious about equating a triple play in baseball and a lunar eclipse. I am confident they are related, given the infrequency of their occasions and the graphic matches of the shapes of both moon and baseball. I have come to believe, thanks to immersive studies of both religion and science that there is no true coincidence. There is a rhyme and a reason and a formula behind everything, whether it guides it or merely describes it, doesn’t really matter to me, and it doesn’t remove or diminish the beauty. I feel it’s simply there to be accepted and cherished when it’s revealed. Even the churlish, like the Early Today anchors in New York, who, in their inanity, added an edge to my observations that in the end increased my appreciation of the beauty and extraordinary nature of last night’s and this morning’s events. Best of all, they increased my pride as a Clevelander and a Midwesterner and an informed person. In the light of day, I am even a little grateful for those anchors, and the lesson I learned from their seeming ignorance or indifference.
That's probably part of what makes me a Midwesterner: a tendency to keep my eyes open for the extraordinary, no matter how big, no matter how far-reaching, no matter how close at hand or under-foot. And I'll probably always share it with wide-eyed wonder.