A handmade lunar calendar hangs plainly in my kitchen. It’s composed of black ink pressed deep into thick cotton paper. Each month spirals into itself like a snail’s shell, displaying daily moon phases, and highlighting new and full moons, and zodiac transitions. I peep it every morning.
I keep a detailed moon print framed in my living room, propped next to my cast iron crab. Strand lights form Cancer’s constellation on my ceiling. My nest is a mini cosmic oasis paying homage to my astrological sign, and its monarch.
Cancer is ruled by la luna—the Great Mother of the heavens in ancient times, and dictator of moods. A symbol of fertility, and evidence of rhythm and order in the natural world. Or something like that.
I sound like a lunatic.
But my lust for this celestial body far exceeds its physical beauty.
My attraction lies with its perseverance; this idea that, despite the happenings of the universe, its forward motion is perpetual and uncompromising. And although it’s unable to produce its own fire, it puts itself in the path of light and burns fiercely against the darkness.
Maybe we have some things in common.
According to my calendar, last Saturday was marked with a solid white circle; a full moon. But this particular moon offered the inhabitants of Earth something far more fascinating than its fullness. It positioned itself for a total lunar eclipse.
This natural phenomenon arises when the sun, Earth, and the moon form a straight line in space, with the Earth plopped directly in the middle—a brief moment of cosmic perfection that, according to NASA, happens nearly twice a year. Not entirely rare, but few and far between.
The sun drenches Earth in light, casting a shadow behind us. As the cosmos align and the moon slips into darkness, it appears to glow red. A blood moon, they call it. And absolutely breathtaking.
But I missed it.
Despite my alarm clock, strategically placed coat, sweats, and shoes, and the speed of my coupe, I couldn’t break the tree line before the moon sunk below the horizon. I missed the window; my timing was off.
I pulled off to the shoulder, my tires crunching atop dirt and gravel, and I sat for a moment thinking how unkind the universe had been. How it deprived me of this moment of beauty and joy and excitement. And how disappointed I was to miss something so incredible.
Maybe I’m being unfair.
Maybe life is too.
And maybe this is a metaphor for finding love.
Later that morning, hangry and defeated, I plopped myself in the passenger seat of my mom’s Jeep for a quick jaunt to Tim Horton’s and the grocery. Over a medium café mocha and a jelly-filled donut, we discussed life’s more perplexing topics; men. And in our two-mile commute to the store, I concluded two things: I suck at gracefully consuming jelly donuts, and life is not fair.
It’s a wonder anyone can fall in love; it’s a phenomenon as remarkable as planetary alignment. Not entirely rare, but few and far between. It requires unbelievable coordination of the elements; of humans, of interests, of plans, of time.
But the precision of timing—that’s what makes this feel so impossible. That’s where everything fits, and that’s where everything fails. And if life decides to be a dick, you’re left on the shoulder mildly lost and wholly disappointed.
Maybe next time.
I sucked the strawberry jelly from my thumb before pulling the door handle to exit the Jeep. I slammed the door, the locks sunk, and we left our notions about love, life, and the moon in the back seat for later.
The cosmos are misaligned.