I was surprised at how moved I was by what I saw. It was just a tiny black dot on a white circle, seen through special sun-viewing glasses. But the enormity of it struck me. I was seeing another planet … in front of the Sun.
It was tangible evidence of the solar system, something I could see with my own eyes. It was as if I were gazing at tiny portion of the inner-workings of our universe. In my mind’s eye, I could see the dance of the Earth and Venus around the Sun and how, for this brief moment, they were aligned enough for us to observe it.
It will be over a century before it happens again. I thought about that, too. I will be long dead and it seems quite likely that every recognizable trace of my existence would be gone from this Earth. Everything that I have ever and will ever experience in life will be forgotten. I’m not even sure that I will have any descendants alive at that point.
But it didn’t make me sad. Instead, it made me realize how insignificant my problems and worries were in the face of such scale. And it made me realize how precious our very brief experiences are.
I felt very fortunate to have witnessed the transit and I hope that future transit viewers will feel a bit of kinship through the centuries with the other humans who gazed up into the Sun and saw the universe.