A Natural Recommendation

Last night the world watched as the sky put on a dramatic yet understated show. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, on the evening of September 27th a lunar eclipse occurred in conjunction with a supermoon, which means the moon appeared to be larger than normal due to being closer than usual, and was red because of the way sunlight refracts around the Earth during a lunar eclipse. I’m not a science person, but I can definitely appreciate when natural phenomenon like this happens.

Somehow I managed to convince a few of my friends who tend to spend their evenings glued to a TV that this was something we needed to see, and it turned into a very enjoyable evening of deep thinking and just hanging out. We loaded up blankets, candy, and homework and found a relatively open space to camp out for a few hours. To our surprise, a significant amount of people from our university had the same idea. I ended up learning more about some of my classmates on this random night than I had in over two years of classes together. This is just another reassurance of how good it is to unplug every once in a while, and pay as much attention to the physical world around you as to the virtual one of social media and electronic entertainment. But I digress.

As the moon shifted through the multiple colors associated with an eclipse, my mind turned to my latest philosophy class. We are discussing various arguments regarding the existence of God, currently tackling the argument from design, or Fine Tuning. Staring up at the red moon with no clouds in sight, a soft breeze making the temperature perfect for lounging outside, and not even being bothered by bugs, I couldn’t help but consider exactly that topic. I know that not everyone had as convenient or enjoyable a viewing experience as I did, but, for God to make such a perfect environment for my friends and I…how could I not acknowledge and praise Him? I can only see such an experience as a blessing; the fact that lunar events like this one happen often enough that we are able to mostly understand them and to a degree predict them, but not so often that they are commonplace, is so in tune with humanity’s reality it has to be seen as intentional. If the moon changed size or color every week, we wouldn’t go out of our way to watch it, and by consequence would not experience the atmosphere of last night. The world stood together to look up in awe at God’s handiwork.

If you’re like me, and enjoy reading about things like this when they happen in the real world, you should check out Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass. I’m still in the process of reading this book, but it’s so good so far. The story follows three middle school-aged students over the course of a summer in which a significant solar eclipses is supposed to happen. They each have various levels of interest in the actual eclipse, and vastly different lifestyles are represented. It is aimed at a lower reading level than I typically read, so there have been points where it has briefly lost my interest, however the story as a whole and the characters especially are very well developed and sustain the story through the sometimes-predictable plot. That said, I have no idea how this one is going to end. I am a little over halfway through, and I cannot pick a theory on how everything is going to be resolved. I’m expecting something big.

I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the Super Blood Moon, but I made a memory worth more than any pictures. Whether you were able to experience this or not, I hope you can get something out of my experience. And, if you have any interest, check out Every Soul A Star!

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As The Seasons Fall

As the calendar moves through September, temperatures don’t climb quite as high as they used to, the local coffee shop hauls out Old Faithful flavors for their monthly special, and school bells are heard daily. Leaves change colors and drop, then skitter along the sidewalk in the cool breeze, and squirrels are in full gather-mode as they prepare for the ultimate test of winter.

I know a lot of people who absolutely love this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it too, but I think it’s getting blown out of proportion this year. I like being able to dress for the day without having to consider both frigid air conditioning and sweat-inducing sun, and soft sweaters are a comfortable shift from shorts and sandals; but, along with gentle weather and fashion changes, comes the return of a Thing both inspiring and challenging for many young adults: school. As a university student, I must now balance papers for class with any writing I want to do for myself, or for this blog. Before I can read the books I choose, I have to read the ones assigned by professors. As a member of a rigorous English program, and also working on two separate minor areas of study, I have a lot of obligations to fulfill before heading to class every day. Needless to say, autumn is a very busy time of year for me (and I haven’t even mentioned music or my actual job yet!). As such, it is unfortunate that this blog is often one of the first things to get cut from my schedule. It’s impossible for me to keep up with as many reviews as I would like to get out, but I hope that my dedicated (though admittedly few) followers will be patient throughout this season. I am still reading and working on things for this blog, but they won’t be put up as quickly as during other months. When I have time, I will update and review and talk about books as much as possible. This may not be every week, or even every other week at times during the school year.

During this more hurried time of life, sometimes it can be difficult to notice the nice things around, like the increasingly mild weather and opportunities to make good memories with friends. The pressure of essays, tests, and homework can get in the way of finding ways to enjoy every day, no matter what happens. But, failing to do this is failing to recognize the Creator and all the blessings He has surrounded us with. So as you curl up with a warm drink and comfy sweater, or play in the leaves and decorate pumpkins, or cram for tomorrow’s big test, remember that there is a world out there beyond the school yard or office, full of lessons and inspiration and peace. And when you come looking for my latest book review but instead find the same page you saw last week, grant me some grace. Sometimes there are more important things than what fits on my computer screen.