There are certain events that bring people together; brief moments of community that connect people with those around them. Such a moment was tonight's sunset that created a sky filled with gloriously blazing red-bottomed clouds against a darkening blue sky.
I left the house for a quick walk to the store for a few needed items, and a parked car was blocking the sidewalk at the corner - how rude. But as I walked around the car, I noticed a young woman in the drivers seat with her cell phone in hand - held up in front of her eyes. She was taking a picture, so I turned to see what the subject of the photo might be, and froze in my tracks in wonderment. I called my wife to tell her to go out on the porch and look, then walked on towards Hawthorne Blvd. When I got to the next corner, many people on the crowded street were looking to the west, and probably 1 out of 5 were snapping photos with their cell phones. Parents were pointing to the sky to show their children, and people were talking to each other - stranger to stranger - about this incredible display that nature had provided just for us to enjoy.
My cell phone photo doesn't really convey the breathtaking beauty of this brief moment. And, of course, a photograph cannot do justice to the moment of community that I shared with my neighbors.
I wonder how many people, and in how wide a geographic area shared that moment of community. I'm guessing many thousands of people; and you know what? I bet we were all kinds of people in terms of age, race, gender, politics, and religion (or not) watching and marveling at that sky. These are the moments of community that make Earth a small village - wouldn't it be nice if we had more?