Monday marked a momentous day in the worlds of science and history. A solar eclipse made its way across the United States, the first one since the early 1900s. This may be a once in a lifetime event for some people; hence the excitement and enthusisam. Millions of people left work early or skipped altogether to observe this once in a lifetime event. Challenger, Gray and Christmas projected that something like $700,000,000 in productivity because of an astronomical phenomenon (www.forbes.com).
Somehow, I missed it. I was sitting in my chair outside reading a book when the event passed me by. I noticed that the sky became slightly gray and the atmosphere slightly cooler. I did notice a strange silence around the time of the eclipse, and a few birds flew around the yard in an unusual manner. However, I did not see a blackout or near blackout. Was there more hype than necessary or was I blinded in some way? I know that people elsewhere saw a total eclipse because they posted pictures of Facebook, but I saw nothing significant.
This celestial occurrence was a stark contrast to the events of last week when the country was in upheaval over the debacle in Charlotteville. Thousands of people were storming parks and tearing down statutes, defacing property, while others beating the daylights out of other people. On Monday, thousands of people were excitedly and peacefully gathering together in parks and cafes to watch an amazing event. Curiously, both events precipitated a massive media blitz creating incredible hype across the country.
I do wonder how many of the ne’er-do-wells dropped their torches and clubs for a pair of special sunglasses and shared this interesting event with people for whom they ordinarily have little regard.
Who knows what a day may bring? If we could capture the good times, seeing how they unify and excite us, perhaps we could apply that community feeling to our differences. I know that the social issues are far more complicated and difficult to solve than by having a collective feel-good moment in a park, but we must be able to move forward in controversial times if we can find ways to move forward with less animus. God help us.