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Adele Elliott: Sky gazing

 

Adele Elliott

 

It seems that spring has finally come to the Golden Triangle -- and not a moment too soon. Mother Nature was hanging onto her arctic temperatures so fiercely that we needed to be reminded that this is the sunny South. But, last week, the azaleas finally exploded in abundance. Hallelujah! 

 

All over our area, there was a plethora of blooms on the dogwood trees, and chorus lines of irises in snowy whites and rich purples. Facebook was filled with a cornucopia of images of brilliantly colored flowers. You might have thought we had never seen them before. 

 

Unfortunately, most of the blossoms did not show their faces until Pilgrimage was over. Oh well, that creates a good excuse for the pilgrims to return next year. 

 

I do love nature, up to a point. After all, I am a Southern belle and not partial to being uncomfortable. Camping is not for me, especially if it means that I will not have a place to plug in my makeup mirror or electric coffee pot. But, viewing an exhibition of the natural world from a box seat, that is my idea of entertainment. 

 

Alas, the much-touted "blood moon" presented her display without having me in the audience. I stood on my back porch at 2 a.m., scanning the sky. Sadly, our area was so overcast that I saw nothing. At least I got to see videos of the event on the Internet. 

 

Although the "blood moon" has only occurred seven times since the crucifixion of Jesus, there is the chance that I can catch the rerun next year. That is, if we are all still alive. 

 

The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition) considers the "blood moon" an omen for war. On the other hand, some Christians believe that it represents the second coming of Christ. 

 

Joel, an Old Testament prophet, writes, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes," and a verse in Revelation says, "The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair; the whole moon turned blood red." I suppose this is all open to interpretation. Draw your own conclusions. 

 

Then there was the Lyrid Meteor Shower, touted to be four nights of celestial fireworks. I slept through that one. 

 

Meteors should have been a lovely display with no ill prophecies. Right? Not according to media outlet, "Gawker." Their big headline was, "Killer Asteroid Coming Relatively Soon." 

 

"It is not a question of if a killer asteroid will strike our planet, devastating at the very least a city, and at most the entire race. It is just a question of how soon. The current consensus: it won't be too long now." (gawker.com, April 23) 

 

Quoting a study by the B612 Foundation, a group of astronauts and scientists, the Earth is often struck by asteroids as powerful as a nuclear bomb. They have detected 26 such explosions since 2006. So far, the stones from space have (for the most part) blown up in the atmosphere and not hit a heavily populated area. But the odds are against us. 

 

Don't consider this an opportunity to run up your credit cards and avoid paying back your student loans. We have no precise date for doomsday. It could come anytime within the next 1,000 years. 

 

Who knew sky watching would be so depressing? For now, I'll just look at flowers and not worry too much about dire portents. Southern belles know that "tomorrow is another day." We will stress out then.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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