The thought of having been witness to a play of light and shadow at such a grand cosmic level is at once thrilling, awe-inspiring and humbling. What can be more astounding than to have celestial bodies, millions of kilometers apart demonstrate a simple principle just by conforming to basic rules of physics!
I think this is what is so truly fascinating about eclipses – they spur the imagination, inspire wonder and make us feel connected in an uncanny, bizarre way with the workings of the universe. We get to experience live the movement of the earth and the moon – it gives us a feeling of being completely in tune with the rhythm of the universe albeit for a brief span of time.
Although the moon obscuring the sun in totality would be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sights to behold, I found myself strangely resigned at the prospect of watching the partial phenomenon. And it did not diminish any of the marvel or the awe – the excitement was palpable in each and every person present there, as people from diverse walks of life, of every hue and colour gathered in unbridled enthusiasm and waited patiently for their turn to use the special telescope.
Which brings me to another huge reason to absolutely love eclipses. In our modern world such phenomena bring people together like little else can as we unite with the common aim of being a spectator to a rare and magnificent occurrence. Few can remain unmoved and unaffected as our planet, star and satellite align themselves to create such a magical effect. Some perceive it as a divine miracle and others as a splendid astronomical event but no one can escape the excitement it triggers.
If only there were more occasions when humanity could unite under a common cause – bound by a compelling desire to discover, understand and experience nature in all her enigma and majesty – it might just make us a more humble and tolerant species.
On that thought – eagerly awaiting my next rendezvous!