Last night I braved the cold to watch the show put on by the cosmos. Excuse the photo, it was taken with my iPhone. I knew it wouldn't be any good, I just wanted a record that I was there.
For me the most interesting part was seeing the shadow of earth on the surface of the moon. I was, in a different life, a science teacher and I understand (at least in a certain part of my mind) that we live on one of the planets in our solar system. We have one sun and one moon. I understand how those bodies move around. But something shifted in me when I saw the shadow of the edge of our planet up there on the moon. Suddenly I understood where I was. The reflection of our planet so far away up there gave me insight into this home of ours. Suddenly the ground on which I stood meant the same thing as the planet called earth. Seems simple and straight forward but until last night I didn't really get that.
I wondered last night if maybe that is what we all need to get true insight about ourselves, to see our reflection on someone or something else. We may think we know a lot of things about ourselves, but maybe we only know them to a limited extent. Perhaps the true definition and understanding of ourselves cannot be found within us, it must be found somewhere out there.
In Setswana culture there is something called botho. Botho is a term used to describe a mature, polite Motswana. A person who shows respect to others, who is disciplined, well mannered and courteous . You gain botho through your interactions with others. Perhaps botho is a bit like the shadow of earth on the moon.
Coming from a family with mental illness, I've never quite trusted the inside of my head. Sometimes I think that may be why I write. I trust words on the page. So if I get the words out of my untrustworthy mind and on the trustworthy page I can see what they mean, what I mean. Maybe that's a bit of the shadow on the moon too.
Perhaps I'm rambling. Just my thoughts after last night. What did you think about the eclipse and our shadow way up there?