Today, all of North America looked up to the sky and saw the moon cover the sun, bringing about total (or in some cases, partial) darkness to the land in the middle of the day. If you were lucky enough to be in an area that experienced complete totality, you witnessed a combination of a sunset, sunrise, and the starry night sky. You saw shadows of crescent shaped-moons dancing as a reflection under trees or on sidewalks. You looked up with your pair of eclipse glasses at the key moment when the moon completely covered the sun–and likely heard cheers, gasps, or some other kind of epic reaction to the epic natural phenomenon occurring.
The eclipse has come, brought us moments of awe, and now ended. But what do those few moments staring up at the sky really mean to us?
To me, they are a reminder of the vast existence and endlessness of the universe. The moon blacking out our daily source of light, even for only part of a day, stopping our monotonous moments of work or school, reminds us that on most days it is all too easy to take our universe for granted. The solar eclipse should serve as a reminder of how very small we are in the grand scheme of the cosmos. Our inventions, problems, relationships, dreams, achievements, and our good and bad days are nothing but a speck of time and space in this infinite universe.
Don’t let the fact that you are small thing of the universe make you act small with your life. Let something as grand, historical, and magical as the eclipse help you remember all of humans from decades and centuries long past, that came before you who witnessed this kind of event. Then, let those few minutes staring up at the sky remind you that even if you are a speck, you can be the best speck that ever was. Live your life with a sense of adventure, a perception of the time you have on earth, appreciation for each moment you’re given, and with respect and love for the other human beings who just happen to share your time here on this little planet.
And always, always keep looking up.