eclipses (plural noun)
- an obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and its source of illumination:
- arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative position
- a position of agreement or alliance:
There was much ado over the moon’s eclipse of the sun that we recently experienced. Many, including myself, were very excited about viewing the changing light as the moon slowly moved in alignment between earth and sun (the moment of totality) causing a strange twilight to descent and then slowly to be again replaced by the brilliant daylight we are accustomed to at mid-afternoon.
Just as significant as the sun being eclipsed or obscured by the moon was the fact that at that moment three major celestial bodies were in perfect alignment.
It is this second rare phenomenon that most spoke to me. We who watched the eclipse witnessed the powerful force for change and resulting beauty that alignment brings. Ironically, alignment brings about a blocking or blotting out of much of that which is being eclipsed while creating something rare and even more beautiful.
Contemplating what I had just witnessed with the eclipse and feeling the reality of our “smallness,” I couldn’t help but think about the present great divide in our country. If we imagine that divide, the two sides, as sun and earth, then the moon becomes that which subdues or blocks out their extreme differences by coming in alignment with the two at once. I realize that seeing our country as two sides isn’t a very accurate depiction since there are many of us somewhere in between, maybe even most of us…..but, I digress. To make my point, let’s divide us into two sides, each pushing their own agenda. We can see that if somehow, we could align these two sides perfectly we would find that a powerful change would be brought about. The great differences or disagreements between the two sides could be obscured enough, perhaps, to enable each to see the positive positions of the other to the degree they could come into an agreement or alliance. So what must the moon symbolize that could be important enough for both sides that it might act as that unifying agent? Love of country? Love of God? Love of one another? All of the above? It would seem to me that Love is the key to unification. Let’s let the moon represent LOVE of the highest order. Love of the kind we see being expressed as people help one another in Texas in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. Love that overlooks differences regardless of what they may be.
And so, let’s view the eclipse as a message to all of us. The sun and earth represent two powerfully different world views or two vastly different directions we might take as Americans. The moon then represents love of the kind we all profess to believe in, LOVE that sets aside differences for the good of all. And let’s experience this great alignment that obscures the fear, the hatred, and the distrust of being “different from one another.” Let’s see this time as a time of testing. Testing us to see if we can truly LOVE enough to bring about UNITY for the sake of our children who will inherit this great country that we all love.
Think of the rare beauty we just witnessed as the moon obscured the sun: the diamond-like flash the moment before and after, the burst of beauty from the still visible corona, the mysterious twilight glow and 360 degree sunset. What beauty we witnessed. Now imagine how incredibly beautiful it would be to see us, all Americans, in alignment, working side by side to create unity one with another.
Anything worthwhile requires compromise, hard work and a laying aside of differences: building strong relationships with friends, with children, in a marriage. Even building a thriving business or city. How much more then, must we compromise, work hard, and lay aside differences in order to truly make America unified again. How else can America be Great Again?
Photo provided by Dave Tatlow.