Nature is wasted on the naturalist
I don’t get it.
So many people want to watch the lunar eclipse. Many of them regrettably can’t, because of cloud cover.
Here in Oklahoma, we have an absolutely clear sky. I imagine — but can’t tell for sure — that this clarity might be called beautiful. It’s never difficult to discern the constellations out here. And yet, for me, the lunar eclipse is a huge let down.
The moon…it is so small in the sky. So insignificant and inconsequential. Is this what people have been waiting for?
My brother has used this time to stay up half the night with his friends, as they did to see a sunrise a few years back…and I didn’t understand it then. Why would anyone enjoy that? What was the purpose of staying up all night, then hiking outside to some mountain (more like glorified hill) just to see a sunrise?
I didn’t join him on that excursion. But I’ve done hikes before for sunrises. I don’t get it.
I let it slip out on one of the message boards I visit, and then this guy latched on to it. How could I not enjoy a sunrise?! What kind of person doesn’t enjoy that stuff, he countered. To this day, he makes sure to question my very humanity because of my ignorance of sunrises.
Tonight, I didn’t really have any plans on going out for the eclipse. But then my Facebook feed was flooded by people’s accounts. The message board was similarly flooded with accounts, and too many references to Total Eclipse of the Heart (appropriated for the moon.) And then my brother text messaged me about it.
So I got out of bed and went out.
One of my friends wrote on facebook:
Lunar eclipses are amazing because space is vast and amazing and magnificent.
OK, so space is vast. Sure, that’s a function of volume and distance and whatnot. But what is “amazing” or “magnificent” about that? People often ascribe a sense of “awe” or whatever to things like nature or the cosmos because of vastness…what is that supposed to mean?
Am I supposed to question my humanity now? Am I supposed to suspect some deficiency now? Some kind of blindness?