Good news-cycle lamb that I am, I caught wind of the impending super moon on August 10th and arranged my schedule to make sure I could see it. I was in Indialantic, Florida at the time, a few blocks from the beach, so a super-moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean was a compelling draw. In my mind's eye I was going to be the only one at the beach, the moon would stretch the entire length of the horizon, and a dolphin would leap out of the water at the exact moment my shutter clicked. It would be one of those moments in life that you recall when you're old. "Ahh, remember the super moon of twenty-fourteen? What a night!"
I went to the beach the night before for a practice run and was rewarded with a pre-moonrise rainbow, or rather sheath, that shot straight from the Atlantic into a lavender sky. It was brilliant and, despite the low light, I took several photos none of which worked well in Instagram. You could hardly see the prism of colors in the original. When I tried different filters, the rainbow disappeared. When I told Marcus about it on the phone later that night, he called it my "magic unicorn rain sheath." Unicorn or not, I felt the rainbow foretold good things for the following night.
The following evening, two hours before the sunset/moonrise, dark clouds moved in, which was not unusual for the end of another freaky-hot day in these climes. Hoping the storm would clear in time, I ate dinner early, donned long pants to ward off mosquitoes, and headed down to the boardwalk. Despite the clearing storm no rainbow awaited me, just a crowd of people. Lots of people. As opposed to a small-town-in-Florida crowd there was a Jersey shore sized crowd. Moreover, the horizon was obscured by clouds, which meant my plan to catch the moon when it first breached the horizon was dashed. After all the hype, it seemed wrong to give up. So we all stood there waiting and breathing the scent of the salty sea, which blended with dinners from the beachside Wendy's restaurant. We waited. And waited. Some people with small children gave up. Others started smoking cigarettes and taking pictures of each other. I stayed put, unwilling to give up on my giant moon fantasy.
Finally, close to bedtime, the radiant orb cleared the clouds and shimmered across the water. Yes, it was magical and yet, to my eye, no larger or more awe inducing than a regular full moons. In fact, the night before, with its unicorn rainbow, had been the greater of the two thrills for me. Nobody ooh'd or ahh'd. We just took pictures then quietly dispersed. Maybe in a kajillion years when the super moon happens again I'll catch it on the horizon. In the meantime, I'm going to revel in the miracle of regular full moons ... and half moons, moon slivers, and all manner of magical prism-y things. Ah, remember the unicorn rain sheath almost super moon of twenty-fourteen? What a night!