Monday, November 22, 2010

Under a Blue Moon

The full moon was yesterday, but tonight was the first time in several days that it broke through the cloudy skies for a few minutes. This is the third full moon of four this autumn. Most seasons have three full moons but when there is an extra one, it is called a blue moon. The next one will not occur until August 21, 2013. So the related saying "once in a blue moon" refers to an equally unusual or rare event. 

I enjoy a happy life with blessings of health, family, good employment and the freedom to come and go as I please. But this year has brought an extraordinary degree of sorrow and suffering to people we know and love. I visited a dear friend at the hospital tonight who is clearly losing a battle with cancer. I cannot describe here the suffering and multiple losses their family has endured in the past year. I feel almost guilty writing about the frivolities of my life while they approach the Christmas season with heavy hearts. I told my friend recently how grateful I was to be able to spend a beautiful day outdoors while birding. They remarked that we should appreciate nature and the little pleasures which come with each day, for a time will come when we cannot do that.

I saw this diagram on Southfielddrive's blog this week and thought it belonged with the musings of Solomon in the book of Ecclesiates. 

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.” 

"Once in a blue moon" we come to a place of unanswered questions, unanswered prayers, into circumstances which seem meaningless and unfair. Everyone eventually goes through times of loss and suffering. Solomon puts into words the thoughts and feelings people experience in the hard seasons of life. But he acknowledges that our finite understanding is limited and the value of our life's work is determined in eternity.

What does the worker gain from his toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.   (Ecclesiastes 3)


  1. Beautiful Blue Moon shot Ruth! I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's struggle with cancer. It's an ugly disease that's taken far too many people before their time. I pray your friend has peace soon.
    Have a beautiful rest of the week. We had a terrible storm last night with a coldfront moving through.

  2. After all of this time on earth, I finally know what the terms means.

  3. Love your blue moon photo Ruth and did not know the history behind the term. I hope your friend's suffering is minimal and that they find peace of mind and spirit as they prepare to leave this earth.

  4. Absolutely stunning picture! I wish that it showed up more often then "once in a blue moon".
    I pray for peace and comfort for your friend. I know all so well the struggles of watching a love one weaken, so I pray for strength for you.

  5. I love this post Ruth. Ha, I had no idea what the expression "once in a blue moon" meant and i say it frequently!

  6. A time of lose and sorrow certainly brings life's priorities into a different order.I have to admit that being thankful is not always easy,but God has given me so much,I must give Him thanks.

  7. Beautiful post, and wise words for us all to follow.

  8. Is there such a thing as blue moon? My friend's son went to Thailand, and they celebrated a black moon festival, partying till the morning.


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