Eclipse of the Heart

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“What a great thing, to be loved!
What a greater thing still, to love!
The heart becomes heroic through passion…
if no one loved, the sun would go out.”

~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

It was foggy here, and when, momentarily, the thick cloud cleared to reveal a peephole, it was actually easier to see the solar eclipse because of the dulling effect of the fog.

I am always entranced by the movement of the celestial bodies. It alerts us to perceive the smallness of our tiny lives. How unimportant we are in the grand waltz of the universe. There is something wildly fascinating about looking up to see the moon pass in front of the sun. It is an occasion quite rare.

To see a ring of fire in the sky. It is like something from the latest hollywood blockbuster – a coming disaster of epic proportions foretold. One day life on earth will end. It is inevitable in the natural cycles and processes of the universe. The planet will be no more and neither will we.

An eclipse is an event both bigger than us, and yet it reminds us of ourselves. We see our tiny lives as a faint echo in the motion of the spheres. The life and movement of a planet is a small and inconsequential thing in the existence of the universe. Our lives are small and inconsequential too.

And yet they are grand too. As grand as a ring of fire that burns in the sky for a few brief moments and then is gone. As impressive and as glorious. Enough to set a heart alight and burn with intensity and passion for a cause or perhaps for a person.

Is that why we are here? To burn with intensity and love for something or someone?

While the rest of the universe is oblivious to the passing of a small moon in front of a sun and the beings on a planet as they watch this quiet phenomenon. That does not lessen its grandeur or its vitality. It is vital. We humans look up in unison and for a brief moment in time we stop and are connected by the wonder of it all.

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