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Something New Under the Sun

Tell King Solomon

Sunrise in the mountains
Something new under the sun

King Solomon suggested there’s nothing new under the sun. He made this observation as a disillusioned monarch who had more wealth and women than was fair, but he made a good point.

Ecclesiastes 1 : 9:

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and that which is done is that which shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun.

There’s nothing new happening today, just more or less of what was before. At the moment there’s less travel and less hugs. Less café-hopping. Less window shopping. More rulings. More washing of the hands. More media. More hand wringing. More writing.

However, let’s not lose sight of what is the same.

The sun came up this morning. The almost full moon sank while I slept. Kookaburras call across the landscape, heralding another day.

The camellia bushes called Sweet Moment, planted for our daughter’s garden wedding, unfurl white buds tinged with pink. The wall of reeds surrounding our property shake in the lightest breeze.

Frogs call day and night on the fringe of the wetlands where I live, an endless, haunting, fluctuating wave of sound, telling me that some things haven’t changed.

But maybe there is something new under the sun, and it’s dawning in people’s eyes.

I see it at work, in the street, at the grocery store. A glance that holds longer than it used to. A look that is less casual, and it carries an unasked question:

How are you?

Like the call of the frogs, this increasing concern comes in fluctuating waves, sometimes faint, sometimes strong. But it’s there and it’s not going away.

I sense a growing awareness in the whole body of humanity that we — and all things — are one thing. We may still have to keep our distance, but that enforced physical distancing is - paradoxically - bringing to the surface our invisible connection to one another.

I don’t think that’s happened before in such a grand scale.

If King Solomon was alive today, sitting in front of a keyboard writing the Book of Ecclesiastes, he may type:

I have seen something new under the sun.

With love, Marlane

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