Sunday, November 26, 2006
My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity. -Edgar Mitchell, USA.
How big is the Earth? How far away is the Moon? How hot is the Sun?
The answers are as follows:
The Earth is 12,756 kilometres in diameter, or 7,927 miles.
The Moon is 384,000 kilometres from the Earth, or 239,000 miles.
The Sun is 5,777 degrees centigrade at its surface, which is about ten and a half thousand degrees Fahrenheit. That’s quite a suntan. And that is cool compared to the fierce nuclear furnace at its core, which is measured in millions of degrees.
But what does this tell you?
That the Sun is hot, the Earth is big and the Moon is far away.
Does it tell you what it feels like to bask on a warm beach in the sunshine, with a cool drink and your lover there beside you?
Does it say anything about the fairy-tale light of the full Moon caught in the branches of a tree, or what it feels like to hold someone close in the Moon‘s glow when romance is in the air?
Does it tell you anything about love’s mystery or life‘s enchantment?
Does it speak of joy or loss? Does it tell you about grief for a loved-one gone away, or the exhilaration of seeing them again after a period of separation?
And that sparkle in their eye, is that just a reflection of the outer light of the Sun, or does it come from somewhere else: from somewhere deep inside?
Oscar Wilde once said that a cynic is “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
These days we know the measure of everything, and the meaning of nothing.
The question is: is there such a thing as magic any more? Does magic exist?
Not in the measurable world it doesn’t. It has no weight. It has no volume. It has no height. It has no mass. It cannot be detected with scales or thermometers or measuring jars or rulers. You can’t pick it up in your hand and throw it. When it lands on your head it doesn’t leave a bump.
But, then again, neither does love.
If I write down the word “love” what do you see? A few squiggles upon a page. A line, a circle, an angle, a spiral. And in French it is spelt differently again. And in German and Italian and Serbo-Croat. In Chinese it isn’t even recognisable as a word as such. No letters, just a kind of abstract shape in brush-strokes. But we all know what it means.
Scientists might define it in terms of heart-rate and body-chemistry, but they cannot tell you what it feels like. They can attach monitors to your skull to measure your brain-wave patterns, but they cannot tell you what it means to you, nor why every bird in flight, every cloud and every breath of air seems filled with your lover’s presence.
When you are in love your lover is everywhere. The whole world seems to glow with their light. Even the leaves on the trees seem fresh and alive, their delicious rustling like the very message of love.
Because - and this is the truth - love is everywhere. Magic is everywhere. It is a gift from the Earth. It is all around, not as an object, but as a relationship. As a relationship with the Earth.
The Earth isn’t a thing, it is a being. Your relationship to it isn’t one of “I” and “That” - that object over there - it is “I and Thee”, a bonded relationship of mutual recognition and trust.
Without the Earth you would not exist. And without you the Earth would be lonely, I can assure you, for who would be there to recognise her, to see her, to love her and appreciate her, to care for her and to keep her safe from harm?
She’s your Mother, after all. Mother Earth. And the magic is all hers.