Monday, December 12, 2011


Did y’all see the eclipse of the moon the other morning?  It happened early Saturday morning.  It began at 3:30 Pacific time and we did not get up that early.  But we did get up a little after 5 so we could see the moon partially covered and continued to watch (between bouts of running inside to warm up and make cocoa) until the entire moon was just a softly glowing red in the sky, and we could turn around to see the opposite sky turning orange as the sun made its entrance.

It was pretty neat huddling together in our back yard in what I can only assume was below freezing temperatures.  We talked about how people who didn’t yet understand how our cosmos was designed could have seen this event as even more momentous than we did.  We imagined someone with very little astronomical understanding watching a month’s worth of phases happen in a matter of hours.  How would they have interpreted what their eyes were seeing?  With wonder and fear?

I think many people today have notion that we have ‘arrived’ scientifically.  While admitting there is more to explore in micro and macro fields, there is a feeling of satisfied well-being from having assured knowledge about the general day-to-day of our lives and environment.  But I have to think that most people in most places throughout most times have felt the same way.  Explanations are given for the observations we make, and we accept them.  Contemporary people may scoff at legends explaining the birth of our planet, but who is to say that people in our tomorrow won’t find our ideas and theories just as contemptible in their quaintness? 

Woah!  That topic can take me far and wide.  I will stop there and say that we had a magical morning standing in wonder at God’s magnificent creation in action.


  1. I didn't see the eclipse. But your story reminds me of an event on one of our trips upcountry in Sierra Leone. It was night, and we were behind our hut in Jokibu, on the side of a west-facing hill. We could see for miles, and a thunderstorm was coming. We could see the lightning flash all across the sky, gradually moving in, while the earth shook time after time. We stood outside watching this, quoting the Psalms.

    It was physically eerie - the electricity causing the hair on our arms to stand up, and it was relatively cool (about 70) and damp so we were chilled. The power of that storm and its beauty was awe-inspiring.

    As we were living with a people whose understanding of life includes little modern science, we could readily feel the wonder that comes with experiencing a world which is so mysterious.

    Yes, we know the rational explanations for many of these things, but at another level, there is no rational explanation for these things.

    I am glad that I have the chance to know the science of things, and to experience the wonder of them. Balancing those two approaches should never negate either, but allow them both to live inside.


  2. That sounds really cool, mom. Just yesterday for school we read about the fall of Constantinople. Their rallying motto was that there walls would fall only when the moon went dark. As the Ottoman Turks lay seige outside those walls, there was an eclipse of the moon! Both sides to the oft-repeated phrase to heart and the battle was over in the minds of everyone. To have seen this event just over a month ago with our own eyes made reading about this battle very rich in our imaginations.


Thanks for taking the time to talk with me!