I find myself fascinated of late by programs from National Geographic and History Channel, as well as from various readings, to learn that planet Earth is remarkably free from being devastated by stellar asteroids that tear through space by the millions. Planet Earth has been struck in the past, notably in the Yucatan and in Siberia. We do find small pieces of space stuff that have hit our planet but nothing like what slams into many other planets as a part of life in the great out-of-space. The reason given for our relative freedom from such disaster is the planet Jupiter. Jupiter has such an enormous sucking (centripetal) power that it sucks into itself those asteroids and flying stellar debris that might otherwise slam into our earth. In other words, Jupiter is looking out for us.
Mother's Day is past, Father's Day is coming on, and I think how much centripetal force parents bring onto themselves for those of us who are their children. Every day they bear our bruises and burdens, take onto themselves our fears and failures, absorb our sorrows, act as healers, angels of mercy, forgivers, lovers and menders. More than any parent can know, or any child can know, parents are like Jupiter, shielding the child from the rocks and dangers of all this physical and emotional debris floating around in their lives. For myself, even though my parents are well situated in their eternal place in the heavens, I know they still, from that position, in my mind and heart, keep busy centripicating (forgive me Mr. Webster), the hurts and fears that come to their earthly child. Bless you, my mother, bless you, my father, bless your child with grateful praise for so great a world as this one in which we live.