The Diamond Ring and the Crown

A new reflection from Deacon David on awe and our solar eclipse …

The Diamond Ring and the Crown


Even after all this time

The sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.”

Look what happens with a love like that.

It lights the whole sky.



Burna and I drove to Kearney, Nebraska, where a colleague of Burna’s was hosting friends and family for the Big Day. Hype called the event “The Great American Eclipse.” I’d prefer to call it “The Great Eclipse of 2017”—generously offered by the Universe to North Americans.” It was as awesome as predicted. We wore our ISO-certified eye protection, struck a large bowl gong regularly as the eclipse progressed, and celebrated afterwards with treats and toasts. It was a great party and loads of fun.

On our way back to Denver we stopped for lunch at the D & J Cafe in Julesburg. Almost every table was full and people were buzzing about the eclipse. We couldn’t keep our eyes off the images of the eclipse on the TV above the cash register.

I learned some things in Kearney and Julesburg. It can be wonderful to attend an eclipse with complete strangers. Everyone at Jan’s place in Kearney on August 21st and everyone at the D & J Cafe in Julesburg on August 22nd wondered and laughed and ate, basking in the awe. A shared experience of awe is uplifting and uniting. I wanted to join the conversation at the next table about eclipse glasses and aching necks. I felt right at home. The diamond ring and crown of the eclipse were happening in our hearts.

Even when we’re divided by the enthusiasms and passions of political rhetoric, we’re united by the cultural values, patterns, and experiences that remind us of our shared humanity: inclusive neighborliness, universal compassion, mutual vision, and shared destiny. The awe of shared humanity that embraces all is the human analog of the strong force that binds the atoms and molecules of the universe

Awe is the lived experience of oneness with the universe: with all of being and with the Ground of Being. Awe draws us together, lifts our hearts, and invites offering. Our mission is to offer events that open peoples’ hearts to the experience of awe and extend the invitation to live lives of gratitude for being human.

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