What You Can't See: Key Messages and Questions
Sometimes special moments provide clarity for how to live a more fulfilled life, day in and day out
What was a memorable event for you this summer?
That's what I asked Girl Scouts in 6th through 12th grades at a recent "coming back together" pool party. A remarkable number of them agreed – the eclipse. Regardless of whether they were in Wyoming experiencing totality, in their schoolyard watching the eclipse with their class, or at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research), this celestial experience brought a unique, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime, message of unity to many Americans.
- TOGETHER. The eclipse brought Americans together. People from all over the country were mesmerized by a natural phenomenon. It felt good to have the media and individual people focused on something other than dysfunction in Washington, D.C. or other horrors worldwide.
- PAUSE. It gave us an opportunity to halt our everyday activities, gaze up, and see something unusual. Did you pause or did you miss that special chance?
- WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE. During totality, when the moon totally blocked the sun, you could see the stars in the sky. They are always shining, but the bright daylight blocks them from sight. What else in your life is always there, but not visible? What are we missing? What can you do to be more aware?
- SPIRIT. The word eclipse is derived from an Old English word meaning, "whole." For many, it awoke a spirit within. What, if anything, did you feel?
- FELLOWSHIP. I traveled to Wyoming for eclipse totality with a Boy Scout Venture Crew as one of the adult advisors. In planning the trip, we were seeking a place to camp and not having much luck until a lovely and lively 90+ year-old woman from Casper offered us her backyard. We received much more than a campsite: we discovered new friends, interesting conversation, shared meals and so much more. The next day, we viewed the eclipse with dozens other people from across the country. People came from California, Utah, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Wyoming and beyond. We were united with a common purpose — to experience this special event.
The eclipse united the country. It gave hope. It allowed us to pause, see things we don’t typically see, reawaken our spirit and find friendship. Here is an example of good news. Let's look for more of this goodness, which may not always be easy to see, but which is always present.