On a misty June morning in 2004, I stood in the dewy grass of the back pasture and stole a quick look at the rising sun. I was rewarded with a glimpse of a small black dot, mysterious Venus making her transit across the face of the sun, beginning her eight-year journey that would scribe a beautiful rose pattern in our shared corner of the cosmos. (image and link below)
While Venus and Earth were doing this elegant, langorous dance month to month and year to year, my own life zoomed along, often a crazy-wonderful odyssey but filled with "magick, marvel, and Mystery". At its appointed times, Venus danced into view as the Morning or Evening Star, now and then appended to the sliver crescent of a new moon, breath-takingly beautiful. Earlier this spring, we Earth-residents were awed by the triad of the New Moon, Venus, and Jupiter, beaming at its maximum brightness.
As the last graceful curve of their eight-year dance approached its completion on June 5th, 2012, word of this rare transit...the last in our lifetimes...spread like wildfire around the globe. It would touch all seven of the continents and even help Queen Elizabeth conclude her Diamond Jubilee celebration. (What foresight of her planning committee!)With the Moon set to be at Full, there's never been a stage better set for a stellar extravaganza.
Last Tuesday a steady parade of rain showers held forth most of the day here and in much of the Northeast. The Sun's occasional appearance gave hope to those waiting with protective eye-wear and pin-holed papers. At least this time, 2012, there was the back-up option of viewing it on the internet.
So, in the end, an hour into the Transit, I stood in a wooded clearing with a view of the western horizon. Racing clouds, gold-edged by the setting sun, teased with momentary shafts of sunlight. Rain began to patter down once more and I felt I might as well leave my post. One more look skyward and there, a small opening magically forming. I held my breath and the Sun's dazzling disc appeared, sliding slowly across for perhaps half a minute before disappearing once more. I knew not to stare too long, just to savor the sense of it, of Venus hovering there between us, me and Mother Earth, and the Sun. It was enough.
Unknown to most of us, the beloved writer, Ray Bradbury, passed on sometime that same enchanted evening. Word reached me the next morning. During his 91 years here on Earth, he gifted us with so many wonderful books and short stories filled with "magic, marvel, and Mystery". As one person wrote in tribute, he was "a writer who had the map to the human heart."
I sat before my computer screen absorbing this news on Facebook, still buzzing with the Transit's marvelous energies. I was struck by how strangely perfect this was and posted this note to my cyber-community: "I'm taken by the thought that Ray waltzed off in Venus's embrace, high into the Heavens.....dancing with the Stars..."
When next Venus and Earth begin their paso doble in 2117, may whatever positive legacies we leave be ever-so-faintly still resonating, especially the breathless awe and deep delight of millions of us Earth Pilgrims as we beheld the beautiful mystery of the Venus Transit in the Year of the Dragon, 2012.
A video that shows this planetary dance wonderfully is here:
I'm grateful to this website for the image and great details about the Venus Rose: