As most of you have probably already heard, there was a lunar eclipse earlier this week. Were you one of the night owls who stayed up to witness this unique event? I was.
As I sat there in the darkness, watching the earth’s shadow creep over the moon, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was so excited about a lunar eclipse. Science explains why the eclipse takes place and we can predict when the next ones will be – it’s like a magic trick being revealed. And let’s be real people, it isn’t the most climatic of endings. In fact, the whole eclipse takes as long as one of the Lord of the Rings films, and has a lot less action. While I’m on this rant, why don’t we just include all other celestial gazing as well: shooting stars, constellations, meteor showers, and the whole lot.
Jim Henson once said, or rather sang à la Kermit the Frog, “What’s so amazing that keeps us star gazing? And what do we think we might see?”
Well, now that I’ve played devil’s advocate for a minute, let me tell you why I keep stargazing, moon watching, and looking to the heavens. I’m looking for the “rainbow connection” that Kermit sang about between “the lovers, the dreamers, and me.”
Sure Hollywood can take us to far off galaxies, science can explain the seemingly unexplainable, and we may value our warm beds over a cold night, but there is something innately human that makes us look up. The movement of the planets and moons, and all things above remain beyond our control. In a world where we can control almost everything from a device in our pocket, don’t we stand in awe of the things that are beyond our control? In the vastness that is space, don’t we all want to feel like we have a place in it? Like we matter in the big scheme of things?
Regardless of your feelings towards the creation of the universe and your purpose in it, I believe that each of us does matter in the bigger scheme of things. We look up not to be entertained, but to be inspired. To be reminded of our potential, which is endless. As I look to the heavens I hope and believe that there is more to the stars and universe than rocks and flaming balls of gas. So I encourage you to take a break from blankly staring into the minutia that life sometimes is and gaze heavenwards for even just a minute. It’s good for the soul.
And whether I’ve convinced you or not of the value of looking heavenward, I eagerly look forward to the campouts Martina and I have planned, and the opportunity it gives us to see the twilight portrait painted by the Master Artist.