Lines from the Pines

by Free Speech on July 24, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI
by Peg Zaemisch

Eclipse marked by superstition and study

‘When the stars align’– is a phrase that is parallel to ‘the hope that springs eternal’. Some day the stars will align. No one says ‘if’ the stars align. It is always ‘when’. So, when the sun stages a major eclipse like it did last week, one can’t help but hope the stars might indeed align. I mean if planets can swing around like that, stars aligning would seem like a simple proposition.
I have always been fascinated by both the lunar and solar eclipses. How does it happen that once in a while the moon or some planet will just “oops, excuse me” cross in front of the each other and make things hazy and odd for minutes.
Given the monumental space in the universe it seems unlikely that such things would happen.

Some people think that eclipses have a great impact on the earth and the earthlings too.

It seems there is always at least one group of people who believe that the eclipse is signaling the end of the world. They try to warn the rest of us non-believers that indeed scripture (as they interpret it) has pronounced that the world will end on July 22, 2009 . They wear black t-shirts proclaiming the end and march (especially at airports) to put the rest of us on notice.
You have to wonder what happens the next day. The day after the day the world is supposed to end. Those folks must feel a little bit sheepish about the whole thing. However, in the kindest regard they did honestly believe the warning to be true and they were spending their last day on the earth warning the rest of us instead of going out to have a really rip up good time. So bless their hearts.
Entirely specific horoscopes are written with the solar eclipse impacts defined.
It seems that everything from your love life to your financial success can be read from the sign you’re born under as it applies to the eclipse. Some signs should just stay home and clean the closets and others should be out there investing huge sums of money in real estate or the stock market.
My horoscopes (I have two because I was born on the cusp) noted that I will have the energy and determination to go the distance. I’m not sure what the distance is, but I guess I’d better try to make it. I wonder how many people follow their specific eclipse horoscope and found it to be right on the button?
Sadly, the eclipse on July 22 was not visible from North America . But, it was still kind of eerie to think it was still happening. I read that it was supposed to last six minutes and 44 seconds, one of the longest eclipses ever. I also read that the eclipse sometimes causes animals to react, such as dolphins spotted swimming unusually close to the shore by eclipse watchers at dawn. In Beijing zoologists were planning to be assembling the elephants, monkeys and other animals to record their reaction to the changes of light and temperature during the length of the eclipse.
There were going to be some Chinese scientists studying the eclipse with precise instruments to see if there is some change in the Earth’s gravity. Others in India are going to be eating just to prove that there is no truth in the old belief that eating during an eclipse would cause great health problems.
Eclipses are phenomena of nature that intrigues most of us. My most personal experience took place when I viewed a lunar eclipse from the rocky bluffs of Devil’s Lake State Park . There was a gathering of people who wanted to connect with the moon going dark and the need to work and pray for peace. It was the beginning of the Iraq War. Everyone had flashlights or candles and two canoes symbolically paddled to the middle of the lake from opposite sides, met in the middle to exchange candles. Observers hiked out around the lake circling the trail with tiny points of light. Some chanted, sang or played drums and the sounds of hope echoed off the rocks and then as the eclipse began, everyone went silent. Then the moon went dark. It was a very poignant rally and I know I will never forget it. Of course, considering all the years that have passed and all the lives that have been lost – the rally apparently didn’t help one bit, but it made a lot of people think that they somehow could have some power. Sometimes hope has to be enough.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Flic July 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Beautifully written as usual,Peg!

2 lyl July 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Years ago during a late afternoon eclipse when all fell into shadow for several minutes, I observed our Lk. Wisconsin marshland fall oddly silent initially. A low rattle began to emerge, deep and primitive, rising slowly, eventually to almost a cacophony of sandhill crane voices. A statement of the ages I’ve never heard before or after, regretting only that I had not recorded the event.

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