We are faith leaders representing many different traditions and congregations who seek to promote understanding, dialogue, and common purpose in our community. This space offers members of our association an opportunity to share reflections with the broader community. The writings represent our individual views, not the positions of the Association or of our respective congregations. We aim to model dialogue that welcomes a diversity of ideas and perspectives grounded in friendship and respect.
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A thought on two unrelated astronomical occurrences
1) This coming Sunday will be the earliest sunset in
2019.This notion is confusing and I
have had several people tell me it makes no sense because it is not the
shortest day of the year. But it is true, the earliest sunset comes before the
solstice. (And the latest sunrise comes after the solstice. Here’s a good
As I am not a morning person, it is the later sunsets that
matter most to me. Knowing that the night darkness will begin later each day, if
only by seconds, cheers me. I am better able to embrace the winter, appreciate
all four seasons, when I know we will begin to have light later into the day.
2) Last week, as I was coming home from late-day errands,
noting how early it was for it to be dark, one car at a shopping center exit
was insistently coming into the flow of traffic, although we on the roadway
were moving steadily. Not wanting to hit that car, I ignored the beeping behind
me and stopped to let the car into the lane.
That pause allowed me a greater reward than avoiding an
accident.As I came around the next
curve, I was in the perfect position, which I surely would not have been had I
not stopped for the insistent driver, to see right in front of me, seemingly
just a bit out of reach, sudden, unexpected, intense: a shooting star.
Joy shot through me. A fleeting sight of the brilliance and
it was gone. And I have only to call it up in my mind’s eye and feel that
joyous thrill again.
So my thought that connects these two occurrences?
The predictability of the changing of the daylight, round
the whole of the year, year after year, steadies us and lets us plan, lets us
know, more or less, what’s coming and when.
And the unpredictability of a sudden natural phenomenon
gives us the reminder that we don’t know all that is coming and that joy can
jump right in front of us with no warning.
No matter whether they happen in the sky or on the ground or
in the heart, having both is essential.
Conscience Bay Friends Meeting
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