Does the Earth Belong to Us?

When I watch a sunrise


Or the occasional moonrise


I sometimes wonder if the earth is a better place without us.

I’m not trying to be a tree hugger (nothing wrong with being one).


I am simply trying to ask a bigger question —

Is the earth a planet that belongs to our species, to use and exploit, and, when exhausted, move on and colonize Mars and other planets?

Or are we part of nature, homo sapiens another species on earth, another passenger on this planet?


“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This has been quoted through the centuries, including the French Revolution, the US Supreme Court, Winston Churchill, the Holy Bible, and yes, Spider Man movies.

That our species is preeminent confers it great opportunity, to shape the earth for its purpose, and enjoy its gifts.


But also great responsibility.
and Earth Day 2017

Photos from top: Sunrise at Mt Fuji, Moonrise over Laguna province in the Philippines, Todai-ji at Nara in Japan, Ho Chi Minh International Airport, Sunrise in Laguna province in the Philippines


A Marvelous Night for a Moondance

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies…


And all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush

Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love?

(From the song “Moondance” written by Van Morrison.)

Photo taken at moonrise.


A Full Moon and Penumbral Lunar Eclipse


What is a full moon but the light of the sun reflected on the face of the moon, and a lunar eclipse nothing but the shadow of the earth dancing on the surface of the moon?

Lunar eclipses have been associated with predictions, myths and cataclysmic events. Shakespeare wrote: “We make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars, as if we were villains on necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion.” (King Lear)

Tonight is one such night when we see a full moon and an eclipse, though the latter is subtle and subdued.

I’d like to enjoy it as another beautiful night. A reminder of the vastness of the universe, its wonders and mysteries, the fleetingness — and at the same time, the constancy — of nature.

Yes, we are small in the midst of all this, but we dare to think big, because we want to find meaning in our existence. With our dreams we reach out for our place in the higher order of things, and with our hopes we insist that our lives are more than a fleeting shadow dancing on the surface of the moon.


(The penumbral shadow is at the right side of the moon in the photo.
More info here and here from on the penumbral lunar eclipse seen on March 23, 2016. Photo taken at 1156 GMT, March 23, 2016, Manila, Philippines.)