The Great American Eclipse and the Smallness of Us

total solar eclipse

Well, it’s been quite a week. Charlottesville happened. Barcelona happened. Trump showed us who he really is – again. Bannon’s finally out. Game of Thrones was insane. My personal life took several interesting turns. The general unrest that’s become our nation’s new normal is steady and strong.

Etc., etc.

And today, a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse will cut a path clear across the country.

I keep hearing it’s a big deal. Yes, these things happen frequently, but this one’s rare.

As the moon blocks out the sun, the animals’ will go batty. People will begin purging their energy fields of any negativity. Twin flames will come into union. Divine life paths will be illuminated. The global meltdown we’ve all been experiencing will see a surge of positive influence. Neil DeGrasse Tyson will still be smarter than the rest of us. The president may or may not be the president anymore. The world order as we know it will cease to exist.

Or so I’ve heard.

I suppose we’ll find out what actually happens during the eclipse and in the days, weeks, and months to follow. Likely, nothing will happen. Likely, whatever is going to happen will happen with or without the eclipse first taking place.

Still, there’s something to be said for the cosmic forces that govern our lives. This eclipse is a beautiful symbol of lightness and darkness, of the unknown revealing itself, of a complete reset, and of unity.

Unity. How fitting that a unifying force is literally sweeping its way across our country today.

With everything going on in the US – none of them small or trivial issues – it’s actually refreshing that the news is being dominated by something that no one can (reasonably) take a stand on. You can’t hate on an eclipse. You can’t blame the left or the right for an eclipse. You can’t possibly link your disdain for the eclipse back to your disdain for Trump or Obama. You can’t disagree with an eclipse.

And today, at approximately the same time, millions of Americans will be outside, eyes to the sky, hoping to see something miraculous.

Maybe those brief moments will be enough to purge our nation of some of the negativity that’s been holding it hostage. Maybe they’ll be enough to remind people that we all live under the same blue sky, the same moon, and the same sun. Maybe they’ll be enough to remind us to be grateful and appreciative for the abundance our planet’s been blessed with.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had several years ago with a man who I have nothing in common with. The two of us stood outside on a pier one night looking at the sky. The moon was full and beaming. I mentioned how lovely it looked. He commented,

“You know, other planets have a bunch of moons. We only have this one.”

But more is not always better. And for what purpose would we even need more than one moon? I suppose it’s human nature to just want and want, even if we don’t really understand why we want what we want. In this case, though, his greed for more distracted him from appreciating what was already in front of him. He couldn’t see how unique and special our moon was. He didn’t consider the effects it had on our planet and our lives. He was not thankful that we had a moon at all.

It’s like Game of Thrones. So many people are vying for the Iron Throne so they can be in control, so they can have the most subjects. They can dominate the most land and command the most ships. In their pursuit, they’re willing to sacrifice years of their life, the lives of those loyal to them, their own sanity and peace of mind, their nations’ money and capital, and the very soil they wish to own.

To what end? Surely there are more important things in life that just obtaining wealth and power.

Gratitude is humbling, and as a planet, we’d be better off if we all took a moment to remember our place in this universe. Because in the grand, cosmic scheme, we are all small. We live on a small planet that we’re all seeking to dominate, in one way or another.

In our arrogance, we forget our place.

We delude ourselves into thinking that we can truly harness the sun, behold a hurricane, or outsmart the tides.

But every once in a while, nature reminds us that even with all of our tricks and scientifically-backed schemes, we are still small.

When the total solar eclipse passes through today, we will all have to endure it because we don’t have a choice. We couldn’t stop it from happening if we tried. As much as we like to downplay this fact, we’re still minor players in a giant universe – so minor that we’re completely negligible.

And every once in a while, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes, it serves the collective to remember that.

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