A solar eclipse is coming. You know this. On August 21, 2017, cutting a 70 mile wide swath that will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina our Sun will bow before the Moon. For those along its path totality will last less than three minutes. In less than a blink in the cosmic eye observers will see existence as never before; eyes wide, forever changed. The universe and their sense of place therein forever altered, perspective transcended.
Reflecting on this heavenly vision wonders sketch upon the corners of my mind. What a remarkable coincidence we humans care to observe. That in a moment our lone satellite orbits at perfect proportion. Passing through a gravitational sweet spot. An exacting position poised to blot our mother star with mathematical precision. A coincidence made more profound considering the Moon’s drift from Earth since its violent inception. Through the eons the Moon has been on a path outwards; as though adding length to the spinning lasso the mechanics of gravity are at work. We stand at right place at the right time to observe a perfect distance to size ratio rendering Sun and Moon as though identical in size. The incomprehensible unlikely hood that we are in the here and now, sentient and able to process is astounding.
I carry this reflection further by drifting back deeper into the past. My thought experiment settles on the effect this must have had on our species sans scientific enlightenment. This supernatural feat could only have been the work of the heavens. Powerful gods. Deities exerting their will to bring night where there was once day. Like the arrival of a comet observers must have cowered before ominous portents. As best they could the wise would convey esoteric messages upon their people to explain away the signs. Yet in our darkest periods there may not have been systems for any such explanation. At some point before oral histories passed this would pass as unique and terrifying event. What a time to be alive that we can observe this event and appreciate its machinations as they are. With humble understanding we are but a spec standing on a precipice of unbelievable timing and circumstance. Yet as it was in our more primitive past there remains so much we do not know. And so the eternal journey of waking continues.
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