Once Upon a Blue Moon

Last night truly was our first blue moon in 20 years. How cool is that?

Not a blue moon. Full moon over River Po, in Turin, Italy

Full moon over River Po in Turin, Italy. Credit: Stefano De Rosa

(FYI: The picture above isn’t a blue moon, but rather a full moon over River Po in Turin, Italy talken by Stefano de Rosa on December 2nd. I planned to put a real blue moon image here, but this was simply too gorgeous to resist!)

My grand plan for this early New Year’s morning:

…write a blogpost about all the amazing things that happened this past year. Instead, an image of a grandpa and teenage girl sitting on a porch looking up at the blue moon invaded my thoughts. I couldn’t shake the image. Becca’s story emerged. Here’s the beginning.

******

Once Upon a Blue Moon

I always thought “once in a blue moon” described a rare and magical event. Last night, we witnessed a New Year’s Eve blue moon. Grandpa said it’s been 20 years since the last time the moon turned blue. Two decades to the day, he told me.

Yes, something rare happened last night. But it wasn’t magical. Grandpa teased that my face looked bruised under the blue light. He was right, but it wasn’t from the blue of the moon. My face reflected my heart. Blue. Bruised. Broken.

I can’t tell anyone what happened last night under the blue moon, after Greta’s New Year’s Eve party. Only one other person in the universe knows what happened last night, but he won’t breathe a word of it to another soul. In fact, he’ll never take another breath at all.

How am I supposed to celebrate New Year’s Day with my family, as if nothing happened? Do I put on a pretty smile and pretend? Is this how Mother perfected that beauty pageant expression she always wears, as if it’s the latest fashion accessory? Is she the sentinel for dreadful secrets like the one I must protect? Does she hold her own little horrors inside?

Maybe I’m just like my mother after all. I feel a twinge of shame for all the times I despised her for her irritating self-control. Her lack of emotion. Her guarded responses. Now I want to take back the screaming fits where I tried so hard to get a rise out of her.

“Becca!”

“Coming,” I respond to my mother’s call from the kitchen below. I gaze into my dressing table mirror, trying my best to recreate the expressionless face she wears so often. Yes, that’s the one. I’m surprised. I see my mother’s wooden eyes staring back at me.

I push back from the image. My dressing chair screeches a loud protest against the pine floor. Good thing Grandma forced me to attend those dreadful acting classes with Frothing Freddy Jerrard. I’ll need them today.

******

I’m eager to find out what happened to Becca under the blue moon. Guess I need to get busy writing! Now you know what I’ll be doing in the wee hours of the early mornings in 2010 — my best time to write. (Yes, I’ll also be busy with our final five Space Shuttle missions and completion of Space Station assembly. What a year we have to look forward to!)

Happy New Year to you and your family!

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Filed under NASA, space, writers

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