Yesterday was a Florida day I reverse: It began with rain that fell “fast and furious”: I don’t think it lasted more than 15 minutes. A curtain of clouds remained, sealing this city into a cauldron that became even steamier when the sun peeked out before filling a clearing sky.*
I took a late afternoon ride in that late-summer soup. So, not surprisingly, what I wore—and I—turned into wet rags. I needed to do laundry anyway, so after supper, I lugged my dirty, smelly load to my usual laundromat.
It was closed for “maintenance.” I figured there had to be another nearby, so I walked down to 34th Avenue, where I encountered this:
Whatever others (and a government agency or two) say, I aver that I am in the middle of my life. I claim that status because I don’t know when it will end. That means I might not see, again, what I saw last night. Or I might see its next predicted appearance—in 2037–or the one after it.
The Super Blue Moon is one of the rarest celestial phenomena. You’ve heard the expression “once in a blue moon.” There’s a reason for it: The “blue” moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. Because the moon’s cycle is 29.5 days, it’s “blue” only every three years or so.
The name comes from the ok hue the orb sometimes reflects back to earthbound viewers. But last night’s blue moon shone as bright and silvery-white as a streetlight because it’s a “Super” moon: a full moon that coincides with the perigee, or the moon’s closest approach to the earth. That happens a bit more frequently than a blue moon, but still only three or four times a year.
Thus, seeing a “blue” moon so big and bright won’t happen again until 2037. Whether or not I get to see it, I saw last night’s Super Blue Moon in the middle of my life, after a late-day ride.
*—To anyone who happens to be in Florida (or Georgia, the Carolinas or Virginia): I hope you’re safe in the wake of Idalia.