What the lunar eclipse taught me.

This week, the crisp New England fall skies graced us with a clear view of the lunar eclipse. It was a supermoon, which I learned, means that the moon appeared to be about 8% bigger. Through the vision of the naked eye, 8% isn't really noticeable, but I can tell you that the dominance of this massive beast in the night sky was absolutely undeniable.

"The universe" has grown to become this obscure idea-- a vague force that many of us have decided to accept as a significant power in our lives. I have always believed that I hold the majority of the control over the way circumstances play out in my life, but that the universe is controlling a small percentage. This past week, I worked damn hard to move my business forward, and because I allowed it to, the universe came through for me in the end. Something bigger than myself was definitely at play. But I do believe that the only reason the universe intervened was because I worked so hard. I'm currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (it's fantastic-- pick it up!), and she writes about this corporation between the self and the larger power:

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.


Now, on Sunday night, as I'm watching the lunar eclipse gracefully glide through its course, this evasive idea of "the universe" becomes an actual real-life creature.

This is literally the freaking universe doing its thing.

It had nothing to do with me.

I was just this insignificant speck of a being with two eyes watching the cosmos create something spectacular.

I thought about all the factors that needed to come together in order for the eclipse to transpire. A full moon. Our planet needed to stay on its path. And for us to be able to see it, we needed a clear sky. Everything had to be in perfect alignment. The sun, our earth, a shadow, the moon.

And I was lucky enough to be in that line.

As our human race waited and watched, we had absolutely no control over what was happening. Mankind has the ability to alter so many things in this world, but not this. There was nothing we could do about this. And thank goodness. Because it was (in the original meaning of the word) awesome. Filled with awe. Better than anything on my Netflix queue right now. The best show of the year, brought to us by the universe. Free of charge.

So on this refreshingly chilly fall night, we all chose to stop looking down at our obligations. Down at our phones, down at our computers, down at our sleeping kids, down at our kitchen counter tops, down at our piles of laundry. And instead we looked up. We looked up and we realized we were all in the right place at the right time.


(photo credit to my friend, Amanda Newbury)