On Monday, August 21st, America was blessed with a unique event. I have always dreamed of seeing a total solar eclipse, so I planned the trip to see totality as soon as I read about the event. I traveled to Jackson, Wyoming, to share the special moment with family.

The total solar eclipse is undoubtedly a mesmerizing phenomenon that has attracted people for millions of years, and it is an important opportunity for scientists to study the sun. In the ancient times, the total solar eclipse had many symbolic meanings. But what is its meaning for us in the present? The majority of people probably enjoyed the moment and appreciated the beauty of it, but in my opinion, there is a lot to learn about life in two minutes.

1. Don’t take anything for granted

The sun is the reason you are alive, and during a total eclipse, it stops shining on you. Don’t worry, the sun can’t decide to die suddenly, but other sun related events can harm you if they occur. Did you know that a solar flare has the power to knock down communications systems on Earth? The sun can give and take, so don’t just assume it’s there for you.

2. Be thankful

As you learn not to take anything for granted, you will start to appreciate more the things you have. We ALL have the sun, and we should be thankful for it every single day because it keeps us alive. After that comes all the rest: our health, our family, and all the little things that make us happy on a daily basis.

3. Be humble

Astronomy related events show you your place in the Universe. In the words of Carl Sagan, Earth is a pale blue dot in the vastness of the Cosmos. Remember how small you are, and look at your everyday problems with a new perspective. 

4. The power of nature is immense

In our daily life, busy with work and with tight schedules, we hardly think about the power of nature. Watching the stages of the eclipse, I realized that the sun was so powerful that even when it was almost completely covered by the moon, the sky was still light. Just when totality arrived, all the sun light was blocked, and the dark came.

5. Yes, we can still find things that unite us despite our differences

In this moment of political turmoil in America, the total solar eclipse made us feel united again. Portland, the city where I live, is a liberal bubble, but Jackson, Wyoming, is probably the closest I ever got to people that support Trump. Looking around me during the eclipse, I didn’t see Trump supporters, just humans like me. This special moment reminded me that despite our differences there are still things that unite us.  

6. Feel the connection with the Universe

A total solar eclipse is not just a spectacular event—it is a moment of spiritual connection. If you’re religious, I hope you felt a deeper connection with God, and if you aren’t, like me, I hope you felt a spiritual connection with the Universe. While totality was approaching, we were all in tune with the moment and the nature around us. There was a silent dialogue going on between all the living things.