All the signs are there if you can read them

The High Holy Day of the Equinox has come and gone, when the night is equal to the day, the time of pagan celebration, unfazed by all succeeding religions, unchangable by mere humans, effectively immutable, the cosmic clock, cosmic time, marking the seasons, metering our progress as a people, as a species. How did we do this quarter? well quarter and a piece, since with all the precision we can muster, after all these centuries, we still have to add a day now and again to keep up with the way it really is.

Take a look at the sky some clear night. This time of year just after sundown to the southwest, right between the spout of the teapot of sagitarius and the stinger on the tail of the scorpion one can see directly into the center of our galaxy. The band of stars brilliant with their cold indifferent light strewn across the sky stand still for awhile if you take the time to look. But if you keep watching they move, twisting across the sky all night. All the individual stars that we can see are a part of this one galaxy, each wheeling into view as the earth spins, forever aligned in terms of the abilty of our eyes to see, useful only if we can read and understand their pattern and act with the guidance they impart.

Meanwhile back on earth we breathe in and breathe out. Each decade is warmer than the last. We can argue about the cause but the simple fact is that every year another glacier dwindles or disappears, another ice shelf cracks off, and another low lying island is smaller and more threatened.

From a certain perspective it feels like we have been searching for survivors for some time, occasionally finding a few that can still talk, and some that even speak the same language.

2 Replies to “All the signs are there if you can read them”

  1. Simply beautiful, Richard.
    To have clear skies that allow one to see the Milky Way and the heart of the galaxy – what value do you put on something like that? It is beyond value, and of the highest value.
    How did we do this quarter? What did we see that was beyond value?

  2. The beauty of a starry sky! I’ve only truly seen it once in my life. Growing up and living most of my life in the mid-west the night sky is often clouded. And for most of my life since I’ve lived near large urban areas that obscure the stars with light pollution . But I spent a few years living in Phoenix and once I traveled to Flagstaff with friends for a weekend.
    It was January and the sky was very crisp and clear. We were passing through pine forests but when we stopped to stretch our legs the clearing gave us an unobstructed view of the sky. I can still remember what it felt like seeing for the first time in my life the beautiful, bright twinkling stars hanging like tens of thousands of diamonds above my head. I had never seen anything like it. It took my breath away and suddenly I realized why our ancestors spent so much time looking at the stars.
    It truly dwarfs the ego and fires our imagination!


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