I've been buried under a mountain of work and didn't hear there was going to be a lunar eclipse. So when I stepped out the door at 5:30 this morning and saw a nibble had been taken out of the moon, it was an exciting surprise. I'm fascinated by anything to do with space and astronomy. By the time Son #2 and I had walked down to the bus terminal, the moon was half gone, and by the time the bus reached the subway, only the thinnest of slivers was left. By the time the subway reached my office and I returned above ground, the sky was too light to see the moon. (Yes, the commute is that long.) But it was cool to think it was still going on above me, even if I could no longer see it.
The thing that struck me most was, while I was constantly craning out the bus window to watch this neat phenomenon, no one around me so much as gave it a glance. They either didn't notice or didn't care. I wanted to stop in the middle of the street and just stare. I wanted to throw my arms wide and declaim on the smallness of man and the amazingness of the universe. Our bustling and busy-ness seems insignificant in comparison.
These days we can predict eclipses and other astronomical events down to the hour or even the minute. We understand what causes them and we can measure and probe everything. But I think it's good to stop and just let nature dazzle you once in a while. We shouldn't lose our sense of wonder. Even if science can explain the things that used to astonish our ancestors, they're still wonderous.