The Sun

Modified on: May 31, 2019


The Sun is alive inside of us.

Carl Sagan, the eminent astronomer and science educator of the late 20th century, wrote:

“The lives and deaths of the stars seem impossibly remote from human experience, and yet we are related in the most intimate way to their life cycles. The very matter that makes us up was generated long ago and far away in red giant stars. A blade of grass, as Walt Whitman said, is the journeywork of the stars…. After the Sun turned on, its ultraviolet light poured into our atmosphere, and its warmth generated lightning, and these energy sources sparked the origin of life. Plants harvest sunlight, converting solar into chemical energy…. So we are, all of us, solar powered.”

In a manner at once scientific and mystical, Sagan perceives in the Sun a symbol of life, accessing the best contemporary research and our most ancient mythologies:

“We are, in the most profound sense, children of the Cosmos. Think of the Sun’s heat on your upturned face on a cloudless summer’s day; think how dangerous it is to gaze at the Sun directly. From 150 million kilometers away, we recognize its power. What would we feel on its seething self-luminous surface, or immersed in its heat of nuclear fire? The sun warms us and feeds us and permits us to see…. It is powerful beyond human experience. Birds greet the sunrise with an audible ecstasy. Even some one-celled organisms know to swim to the light. Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were far from foolish.… Hidden within every astronomical investigation, sometimes so deeply buried that the researcher himself is unaware of its presence, lies a kernel of awe.” (from Cosmos)

On Friday evening, June 21, we will celebrate the Summer Solstice. Midsummer Night has been observed through the centuries with mischief, revelry, and dancing, reputed to be a time of fairies and magic. These ancient traditions are a kind of poetry, telling us that the Solstice, when the Sun is at its apex in the Northern Hemisphere, is a time to celebrate the mystery and wonder of life among the stars.

Come celebrate the fullness of being human in our solar system. We will feel the pulse of ancestral drumbeats. We will dance in a circle aligned with the four directions. We will revel in the long day and brief night. We will be alive, our veins coursing with stardust. And we will do it together, a human constellation of starmatter and energy in a multi-millennial lineage of wonder, joy, and awe.

Summer Solstice Celebration
UUCS Lawn (Sanctuary if rain)
6:30 pm Drum Circle
7:00 pm Solstice Celebration

Celebrate Midsummer Night, the Summer Solstice. Bring a drum if you have one; use one of ours if you don’t. But come.

 

–Scott


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