That was some moon the other night. I say night, but I didn’t see it until morning. My husband spotted it hanging around just above our garage, a late-night reveler out past curfew, slowly making its way home. I put it in my front windshield and drove with it all the way to work.

I hoped it would be the harbinger of a good day, but it wasn’t. I’ve had better workdays, and shorter ones. By the time I emerged, it was almost nightfall again, and I had missed my only opportunity to take two cooped-up dogs to the park for a few minutes of frolic to break up the monotony of being stuck indoors nearly non-stop during a cold spell that apparently is on pace to tie an all-time record.

I said just the other day that there’s almost always a silver lining, but I’ll admit it was pretty hard to find one that night.

That morning’s moon probably was the silver lining. It was spectacular. I would have taken a picture, but I don’t believe I’d have done it justice. Instead, I let it transport me back in time by three months, when I stood beneath a full moon in Siena, Italy, enjoying a scene I once would have found nearly unimaginable. My mother never went outside the United States — to my knowledge she only once traveled on an airplane. I am blessed, and I know it.

Random Fact: I just discovered that a supermoon, which this week’s was, is technically called a perigee syzygy. Syzygy is one of my favorite words, and it had not occurred to me previously that a full moon is an example of syzygy, which is the alignment of at least three celestial bodies. I thank Wikipedia for this knowledge, and also for informing me there will be a total lunar eclipse on January 31, making this month the first since September 2015 to offer both a supermoon and total lunar eclipse.

Which harkens me back to this summer’s total solar eclipse, an event I wanted to travel south to experience in totality but could not. I had to work, and so I thought that I would not get excited about it; and indeed I did not do so in the weeks, days or even hours leading up to it. Then, just as it was occurring, I thought “What the heck, let’s see what we can see,” and I left my desk and went outside, where I found a group of co-workers much better prepared than I with eclipse-watching gear ranging from purchased sunglasses to colanders to paper plates with pinholes. We constituted a make-shift viewing community, and we all passed around and shared the viewing devices and the sense of wonder. And the birds really did go quiet, but we didn’t notice until the sun had reappeared and we realized they had started singing again.

Little moments can loom large. That one did, and so did my drive to work on Tuesday with the supermoon.

This is the solar eclipse viewed through a colander:

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