On a night when the darkness envelops the earth, the heavens above come alive with a breathtaking display of stars. They twinkle like silver grains of sand scattered across an obsidian canvas. High above, the moon bathes the world in its resplendent orange glow, casting a serene and majestic radiance upon the slumbering earth.
This night marks a significant celestial event, a rare and remarkable occurrence – the longest ecliptic transition. During this fleeting moment in time, the moon outshines the sun, illuminating the sky in a breathtaking spectacle of light and shadow. It is an event that will not grace our skies in all its magnificence and duration for decades to come.
Standing on the stoep with my wife and our faithful dogs, I tilt my head back, straining my eyes to fully absorb the beauty of this celestial show, aware that I may never witness it like again in my lifetime.
In the midst of this celestial spectacle, I am struck by the profound essence of life, of existence, of being itself.
The stars, those distant beacons of light, many of which have long since burned out, leave behind a legacy of brilliance that will continue to twinkle in the night sky for countless eons. They serve as a reminder of what once was and what will never be again.
My mortality becomes undeniably apparent on this balmy, cloudless night when the moon unveils its celestial beauty, briefly overshadowing the sun.
I find myself pondering the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds that have passed since I drew my first breath and embarked on my journey through time. How many solar eclipses, sunrises, sunsets, dawns, and dusks have borne witness to my existence? At times, it feels like an eternity has passed, while at others, it seems as though the moments have slipped away too swiftly.
As I gaze upon the moon veiled in its orange shroud and the stars communicating through their Morse code-like twinkling, my mind traces the imprint I have left on this world. In a manner reminiscent of Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” I condense my life into a few fleeting minutes of introspection.
Has my life unfolded as I had envisioned? No, it has taken unexpected turns. Have there been moments of joy and sorrow? Countless. Has the universe offered its lessons? I believe so. Have I always been a diligent student? Not consistently and often, not willingly.
Have I endured suffering? Yes, though not to the extent of many others. Has my pain been profound? Perhaps not on a grand scale, but it has been my pain, my burden to bear.
Success has made appearances, albeit sporadically and after arduous battles. Do I feel as though life has dealt me an unfair hand? I once did, but no longer.
Am I proud of my achievements? Not particularly, but I gauge them differently now. My earthly battles have not transpired on vast plains or in distant deserts but within the labyrinthine corridors of my own mind, my psyche, and my very soul.
I hold in my heart the memories of my dearly departed mother and father. My father, far from a sage, left me unconventional pearls of wisdom, often startlingly accurate in their insight. I cherish the era when we faced life together as a family, navigating its trials and tribulations. In a paradoxical way, I look forward to reuniting with them in the afterlife, where I hope to find solace, having fulfilled my role, if not always with excellence, then with sincerity.
Indeed, moon, you have witnessed countless chapters of human existence, and I, too, have traversed a road less traveled. My journey is far from its conclusion, and my lessons remain incomplete.
I am a child of the universe, as much a part of the cosmos as the moon, the sun, and the stars. We all have our roles to play in the grand tapestry of creation, and our existence, however brief or extended, is a unique thread in the intricate fabric of the cosmos.
As we marvel at the celestial wonders above, we are reminded that we are intricately connected to the universe, and our journey continues, guided by the mysteries of the night sky.