When my alarm went off at 3am this morning, I bundled up and went outside looking for the possible breaks in the clouds the local meteorologists and I were wishing for. No such luck. A blanket of clouds. Beyond the barrier, the spectacular Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse was in full swing.

We enjoy looking at the “bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air and feathered canyons everywhere” that Joni Mitchell sang about in Both Sides Now. These clouds are ours, to be shared with the people in our neighborhood. But the stars and the moon are for everybody from the beginning of time. When we look up on a clear night, we gaze into infinite time and distance.

Sometimes those neighborhood clouds block our view of infinity. That really pisses me off. I connect much more with people of all time from all over the world than with my neighbors, whose unlit homes kept them snug and warm in their beds this morning. I would have liked to feel at one with the people who know that an event that hasn’t happened since 1632 and will not happen again until 2094 is worth getting out of a cozy bed in the middle of the night for. When I arrived at work and asked if anyone had tried to see the eclipse, I wasn’t surprised that no one had.

But I was at one with all the people who looked up and tried.