Last week’s eclipse, experienced by millions in the swathe of totality across the United States, was a unifying moment in time. I’m still savoring that feeling of looking up at something so miraculous, set against a temporary daytime dark sky, marveling at the spectacle with friends and strangers. Science tells us when and how to expect these special events of nature every year, and way into the future. I loved the feeling that, as human beings, no matter what our stations in life, we were all equals, viewing something beyond our control, outside of ourselves, yet something that impacted us in a similar way. I viewed the eclipse with a group of about eighty. It seemed to touch us on a deeply personal level. I am grateful for something that brought us together as feeling-good-together human beings at a time when our country was deeply divided.
Space and atmosphere are dependable, and yet unpredictable. Scientists can tell us with accuracy when, and where, and to what degree, eclipses will happen all over the Earth. There are those persons who are drawn so much to these consistently true marvels that they focus their travels to seeing the total eclipses around the globe.
Weather, somewhat predictable, yet uncontrollable, has a keen fascination for me. I like the surprise of a storm. Of course, I don’t like it at its harshest. This week’s event brings another unifying moment for Americans: concern and care for our Texas neighbors experiencing the hurricane, Harvey. This is a historic flood, even worse than what we Nashvillians suffered in 2010. Having been the recipient of volunteer help at that weather event, it does my heart good to see many people reaching out to help their neighbors; local volunteers and others coming from out of state to help rescue people in need. This is yet another opportunity for us to come together in care and concern for our fellows.