Here in England, we are suffering from that normal mid July gloom. People are saying “where has the sun gone?” and Britain’s favourite topic of conversation, the weather, is back on top of the agenda.
It just isn’t like this in those desert countries where passing nomadic tribes with their camel trains don’t greet each other with lines like: “Lovely day” or “It’s going to rain later.”
They probably say: “Another boring day…more bloody sun and sand.”
Well those sunbather-wannabes on Britain’s beaches will be envying them.
I wonder if we really are sun worshipers or whether we are just really boring conversationalists.
English people waiting in queues don’t strike up conversations with strangers that often and when they do, the weather is a pretty safe option.
You can’t really start with: “Do you really think Silvio Berlusconi likes three-in-a-bed sex?” but I bet the Italians do.
“Turned out nice again” or “it’s been raining all day” is about the best we can do.
Someone told me yesterday that it was raining. Yes, I thought, I know. I can feel it landing on me, it is wet and the sky is full of black clouds.
Did they think I was an idiot? I am sure they would have gone on to tell me that it wasn’t as hot as it has been too if I hadn’t said, rather challengingly I thought, “I like it when it is raining.” Then they knew I was an idiot but at least we stopped discussing the bleedin’ obvious.
It must have been so different in Asia yesterday with that spectacular total eclipse of the Sun which, in places lasted for six and a half minutes.
“Lovely eclipse” we would have said. “Gone dark hasn’t it!”
In India though, thousands of people have had a ritual swim in the Ganges and worshiped the emerging sun as they stood there, soaking wet, reborn in their own eyes.
Even non-Hindus the World over can understand this impulse. We all worship the sun in our own way, the great life source, bigger than us, oblivious to us, but in total control of our lives.
If it ever went out, forever, went to black like those moments of eclipse, then that would be that for us and everything else. We all know that even if we don’t talk about it.
As we remember the 40th. Anniversary of that Moon Landing, I try to conquer my fear of the Universe. The Moon, beautiful and romantic from down here, is just an insignificant piece of rock dwarfed by frighteningly gigantic planets. Mostly, I try not to think about all those stars, the vastness, the infinity of space and our Sun, that huge fireball the life-bringer that also threatens our extinction.
I would rather think of the Cosmos as a beautifully decorated ceiling to our own living room called Earth but today, if I had been in India, I would have had to have joined everyone else in the Ganges. There are times when you just have to think about your place in the Universe.
Oh yes, by the way, here in Sussex, England, it has actually turned out nice. Lovely day! Hope it’s nice for the weekend.