“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.” – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
At 2:38 pm darkness fell on my little world. It didn’t last long, about two minutes, but those two short minutes confirmed what I already knew, we should do a better job of taking care of this little rock we call home.
I made a tailgating event out of the Eclipse. I cooked Bratwurst, and my wife made her wonderful Potato Salad, and Cole Slaw. Add some cold beer, and Krispy Kreme special edition chocolate glazed eclipse doughnuts and we had a party, a Total Eclipse party.
The whole thing lasted a little over three hours. It was quite remarkable watching the dance between the Moon and the Star our earthly existence depends on. As I sat in my backyard with my family and our dogs, with a very cold Left Hand Stout stuck between my legs I tried to imagine what was playing out above us, 238,900 miles away. Earths Moon, our only permanent natural satellite was getting itself in position to block the rays of the Sun, 93 million miles away from us. Everything was moving, the Earth, the Moon and the Sun and somehow, someway, they were going to line-up like marbles on a Chinese Checker Board and the Biblical darkness would fall “across the whole land” or at least over my little patch of green grass.
Several things struck me yesterday watching this spectacular event but most chilling was what a powerful source of energy our Sun is. Even when this star was 90% blocked by the Moon its power, heat and light were uncontained. Our existence rest in the very fragile relationship between the Earth and the Sun. There is a balance that must remain even-handed. If things move to far one way or the other it means simply that humans could go the way of the dinosaurs, poof.
We like to believe there is an interconnection between us humans and the Earth and the Sun. That’s not true, there is a dependence. We need the Sun more than the Sun needs us, just as we need the Earth more than the Earth needs us. Honestly, need really doesn’t even begin to describe the importance of both to our existence but we continue to treat the Earth and the Sun as an infinite resource, here for our enjoyment, amusement and abuse.
At 2:38 pm on August 21, 2017 darkness fell on my little patch of Earth. I was happy to experience it and share it with people who I love. But what I was most happy about is that the Sun returned. It returned to shine on my face and light the world. We don’t want to lose the Sun, we don’t want to lose Earth but neither one needs us. They will both do just fine without us. Other ancient civilizations knew that. I wonder why modern man doesn’t or why we forgot? When did we become so confident in ourselves, so self-righteous that we would disregard our dependence on the Earth and the Sun? What will it take to remember? What has to happen? I wish an Eclipse was enough.
“You see that pale, blue dot? That’s us. Everything that has ever happened in all of human history, has happened on that pixel. All the triumphs and all the tragedies, all the wars, all the famines, all the major advances… it’s our only home. And that is what is at stake, our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization. I believe this is a moral issue, it is your time to seize this issue, it is our time to rise again to secure our future.” – Al Gore