Friday, August 31, 2012
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
Somehow I totally missed the fact that there's a blue moon tonight.
Practically speaking, blue moons aren't much to note. After all, the name "blue" moon is misleading: the moon's not going to be a lovely shade of blue, it'll be the same pearly white it always is. While there have technically been blue moons ever since the Julian calendar was adopted (nowadays, blue moon refers to the second full moon in the same calendar month), the current concept of a blue moon wasn't introduced to the American public until the 1940s when some would-be astronomer published a totally butchered definition of what Maine farmers referred to as a "blue moon." The Maine farmers' definition had something to do with the third or fourth moon of the calendar year, but the would-be astronomer said it was the second moon in the same month and the name stuck.
Even if a blue moon really is nothing, how can you not feel a little pull of romance and intrigue when you hear a name as dreamy as "blue moon."
Neil Armstrong was laid to rest today and to celebrate both the blue moon and the first man to walk on the moon, his family has asked everyone to look at the moon and give it a wink today. I'll be winking. Will you?
This whole winking business reminds me a little of a concept I learned in Jenny Davis's young adult novel Checking On The Moon. In the book, the main character's mother is spending the summer in Europe and both the main character and the mother make a habit of "checking on the moon" each night because no matter where we go in this world, "it's the same moon shining down on all of us."