I just caught the end of Monday night's lunar eclipse through a window, when I reluctantly winkled myself out of a warm bed at 4.30am for a nocturnal visit to the bathroom. And despite my initial intention to return to the cosy sanctuary of quilts and pillows, I found myself layering up and creeping downstairs (not very successfully, as the steep wooden stairs creak like old bones) to see it properly.
Outside it was dark and freezing, yet there the Moon hung like a glowing lantern, a spectacularly stained bauble of warm orange pinks and darker purple blues. Overhead, the stars were bright and clear, and even with my rather muddled knowledge of constellations, I could pick out a few familiar patterns. As I gazed, an owl called from the far field and up at the second farm across, I heard the slow, sleepy yawn of a worker getting ready for the day, soon followed by the low hum of the milking machine. From far away, a rooster crowed and the first brave twitterings of the dawn chorus began bubbling up into the icy morning.
Overwhelmed with a sense of wonder, I silently drank in this rare and beautiful convergence and while not particularly superstitious, I sent up a silent prayer that this would be the starting point of a new and kinder cycle of our lives. By which point (and having failed to take a halfway decent photo), my feet were getting cold and it was time to make a hot chocolate before returning to the soft, dark cocoon of the bed, where Joe lay fast asleep after a long work shift.