Sky Dog Eating the Sun?

Millions of people flocked to witness the celestial extravaganza – the longest total solar eclipse in five hundred years. I would have dearly loved to see the spectacular show, even if it was only the partial eclipse that we were able to see in Hong Kong, but as it took place during office hours in the morning, I had to give it a miss. I later saw on TV how spectacular it was, especially when the eclipse plunged parts of India and China into darkness.

Ancient Chinese people tended to believe that a solar eclipse was caused by the sky dog eating the sun and was a bad omen. Such a belief is still held by some Chinese people today, an example being the prediction that there would be a plunge in the stock market on the day.

Make of it what you will, but I see an eclipse as a very graphic lesson about life. Just like many natural phenomena, such as day and night, the changes in seasons, etc., things happen in cycles according to the cosmic order. Likewise, the different stages of our life, even our good and bad fortune, follow a cyclical pattern. We should learn to understand, accept and appreciate the changes rather than trying to hold on to some phases or resisting others.

Another lesson to learn is that while sometimes there are events that appear to plunge our life into complete darkness, we should keep the faith that the huge shadow such events cast upon our life are just temporary or even illusory, and that behind the shadow, the sun is always there, and when the time is right it will dispel the darkness in the most glorious fashion. However gloomy the situation is, it will all come to pass.

Probably because there was no sky dog eating the sun, the stock market did not plunge as some people prophesised, but sometime in the future it will, and then it will pick up again. Such is the cycle in life that the solar eclipse has so spectacularly illustrated in the show last week.

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