Monday, November 07, 2005

Cradled by the Lights

I'm starting to really sink into this evening cradle we're being held by, the brilliant light of Venus on the one hand (riding above the twilight), the big ol' orange glow of Mars on the other (way over there on the eastern horizon). And for the next fortnight, the moon'll be making its way around us, from Venus (sweet crescent now) on overhead to Mars (by then it'll be nearly full).

For the past few years I've been gradually cultivating a Really Big sense of place, one that takes the palpable awareness we build up of how the mountain ranges, watersheds, high plateaus, blankets of forests, all link together and become a continental-sized Home, so that we know what's over those mountains on the horizon, can sense the whole body of the continent because we've walked and driven it. This bigger picture is like that, expanded to the solar system's body, and the place of the solar family in the galactic whirl.

So here now maybe I get to anchor in some new concrete feeling of the way that Earth spins here around the sun, between our two closest siblings.... watching the sunset move rapidly across the starfield as we spin around in our orbit..... Venus, too, following 'round on its inside track, in fact catching up to us and passing between us and the sun by sometime in December.... Mars, taking its slower time out there beyond us; over the coming months it'll stay more or less with the stars itis now travelling with, and all that will move across the sky as we leave it in our wake on our speedier orbit. It's up now in the evening because we just passed by it on our way around (when we are directly between the sun and an outer planet or a constellation, that means it'll be in astronomical/astrological "opposition" to the sun and rise at sunset, ya?)

With just a bit of creative awareness, we can really see--and feel--the tilted disc of the solar sytem in this sky-scape. Especially if the glow of the sun is still in the western sky, we start there, the sun just below the horizon. Swing up to Venus (coming around the sun inside us), across to Mars (following along outside us as we pass it), with the moon adding a landmark in the plane of the solar system. Take a few moments to "see" the solar disc suspended here in the starfield. And what's with that picture above?? Well, it gives a palpable sense of the global perspective on "dusk": when we're looking at the sky after sunset, we're just a bit into the dark part there, looking toward the sun as our place on the earth rolls back, away into night. Venus is up there just above the sun, as our gaze skims the earth's disc toward the west. And Mars is way over the other way, just above our tangental view into space over the dark eastern horizon.....

That's some of the threads that can be woven into our awareness of the solar system body over the next month.... but then again, so far I gotta admit when I've been out there looking from Venus, to Mars, and back, and around, it's been nothing more or less than just a chance to feel a dose of wonder, a deep breath of beauty. That'll do.


At 5:08 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, pretty photo and interesting post.


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