Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

With the Eyes of a Child: Ode to the Einsteins of the World

full moon

Photo by Ayaan Sofi on Pexels.com

When I first stepped out the back door to view the lunar eclipse, the air was chilly but not yet cold. I had swaddled myself in a down jacket and a warm hat. I was warm.

The moon was huge, a startling luminous disk rising behind the trees. To stare right into it hurt my eyes, but I did it anyways, studying his familiar features, the ones I’ve imagined him to have over the long length of years that I’ve known him.

Yes, I do tend to anthropomorphize the moon. His ashy face always looks lonely to me, almost agonized, with it’s sideways gash of a mouth and huge distressed eyes beneath thick raised brows. Like a sad clown. So far away.

Over the course of several hours, I was in and out of the house, checking on him.

As the eclipse progressed, his bright white face turned red, like the cheeks of a flustered child, than took on a smokey orange and gray hue, like an ugly bruise.

It was interesting to observe how bright the stars appeared as the darkened moon retreated into the shadows. I couldn’t help but look upon the sky with wonder.

Why have the stars and the planets always captivated us?

landscape nature sky person

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And where do astrophysicists get their super powers from–the capability to do complicated calculations paired with the ability to imagine things the rest of us can’t even begin to comprehend, like string theory, parallel universes, and pretty much every space theory I’ve ever attempted to understand while watching Nova.

They seem to be living in their own parallel universe: They are children with wondering, open minds. They are adults doing the hard work. It’s pretty amazing, really. What a gift!

I kept the lights low in the house. That way I wouldn’t have to adjust my eyes so much each time I stepped out the back door. I was still in my coat and hat and now wrapped in a blanket from the waist down.

I stood outside in the cold, looking up, grateful for the oddity of such a clear, late-January night sky, in the northwest no less, until I became chilled and scurried inside to the refuge of the warm house again.

Out and in. In and out.

The child stepping out into the cold night in curiosity, the adult, stepping back into the warm house, responding to the more immediate needs for physical comfort. The cycles of my life revealing themselves in stark relief against the drama playing out in the silent heavens.

As we neared total eclipse, it was intriguing to see how the moon appeared to morph, his round cheeks emphasized by Earth’s shadow on his face, looking more spherical by the moment. The way an old face reveals it’s bony contours as life’s shadows fall inevitably over it.

To me, the moon looked more like a model planet, presented against a matte black backdrop in a planetarium, than something real and concrete. But here he was in the real sky outside my back door.

I wondered: is the dark side of the moon darker tonight?

Eventually, totality waned as the earth slowly released the moon from it’s shadow. Silver light began to seep around the edge of the moon again.

The fog that had been chilling the ground rose up and began to blur the sky view from sight.

Enough wonderment for one night. How much can an old lady stand?

I went reluctantly inside. I locked the back door. I returned my jacket and hat to the closet. I folded the soft blanket over the back of my chair, obscuring the heating pad that I keep there from public view.

I readied myself for bed.

Like most humans, I have spent countless hours contemplating the night sky. From the time I was a young child wishing on the first star for long forgotten requests, to the  woman I find myself to be now, wrapped in down and an acrylic throw blanket, contemplating the universe.

astronomy comet constellation cosmos

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I’m wishing on all the stars for nothing more than a safe landing, whenever, wherever, and however my ship sails, until it powers down that one last time.

And until then, for no end to the curiosity.

©2019 by Ilona Elliott

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)












  1. Oh my…that was so very poetic and beautiful! And so true. I feel like a child when I stare up at a clear, dark night sky. I didn’t get to see the eclipse – I was in Mexico and it was cloudy. But your description made me feel like I saw it. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Something about the night sky that is just made for wondering and dreaming.


  2. beautiful, as always. I love the sky too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You make me really laugh sometimes Ilona but what has always gotten me the most is how you have this ability to turn around and write so graciously and easy about serious things like in this essay. Could hear you saying it’s not that easy to write, though. Wish I could plop my own trusty, pilled variable electric heating pad in the chair across from you and we could talk about writing and some life stuff. Especially on a rainy day like this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh geez TF, those shoulders still acting up?
      The problem with my writing practice is it isn’t easy for me to write that way all the time. Wish I could pull that rabbit out of the hat at will, but I really have to be in the right frame of mind.
      I’ll think of you from the chair tonight TF. Thanks for stopping by and chatting, such as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Ilona. Sorry I didn’t see your reply. One of the things I’m trying to do better on this year (aside from actually publishing to WP) is checking “conversations” in my reader, a wonderful little feature I wasn’t aware of until recently (that’s just how low-tech and ignorant of social media I am).

        The reality about the writing process is a lot closer to the sentiment in your reply, don’t I know. Wish I could share with you a book a very dear, fellow writerly friend here on WP sent me out of the blue, by Anne Lamott, that’s about the writing process. “Bird by Bird”…..maybe you should see if you could find it in your library or I can send you my copy, pm me (if you still have my email) whatever you decide. Or maybe you’re already familiar/have read it, you’re certainly more of a “real” writer whereas I’m just not. Thought of you after I got through it. Parts of it were pretty affirming/inspiring about how messy the first stage of pencil-to-paper (fingers to keyboard, whatever) can be. There’s a super funny story behind the title of the book that just had me in stitches.

        And the shoulders, yeah……assorted other joints, too. Just a high mileage vehicle, that’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks TF. I read that particular book and several others by Anne Lamott, and I follow her on FB. I just love her. I also see how being a successful writer (published many times over), pushes her into territory that would suck for me, like going on book tours. UGH! I can’t imagine anything worse than having to plug my latest book and travel around signing books and doing little radio talk shows and public appearances. That all brings me back down to earth when I start dreaming of writing “that book”.
        I’m glad to hear from you. Hope you are out enjoying this lovely lovely spring like weather. It feels like hope out there today. xox


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