It seemed like the perfect end to a perfect day. As if the sky above us was taking a final bow, just before the curtain closed on an award winning show.
Hubs and I had the most wonderful day! We'd opted out of the traffic and chaos. We had decided that we simply wanted to enjoy the wonder on our own. We'd invited our girl, but she was concerned that it could harm our sweet youngest grand and stayed at home.
With our chairs aligned, fans arranged to keep us cool and our approved glasses at the ready, we got comfy for the next few hours of the greatest show on earth.
No where to go, nothing to do but relax and enjoy.
I've never worn a pair of eclipse glasses before. So needless to say, even though I have lived in many places with partial eclipses I have never experienced the wonder. As early as yesterday morning I was struggling to understand the people that would pay thousands of dollars to witness the beauty. I was struggling (even though I was excited) to grasp the enormity of it all. That people would travel thousands of miles to witness something that would easily be available on television, the internet and all forms of social media. I mean seriously? Haven't we all become accustom to living vicariously?
No one ever explained and I personally never even tested the wonder of eclipse glasses. I've never looked at the sun and not had that moment of wincing, the rapid looking away experience that all of us have endured. As we were listening to the news a bit earlier an astronomer was explaining first contact. That we would not be able to see it, that it was simply impossible for the naked eye. A telescope would be needed. That absolutely did not stop us from trying.
First contact was not a possibility. But it did give me a chance to play with my phone's camera and my glasses.
Over the next hour we watched through our glasses the moon slowly appearing to take a bite out of the sun. At first it looked like a giant cookie monster bite... chomp, chomp.
Being in the path of totality was such an incredible experience. Initially we watched wispy clouds blowing past, concerned that we would not be able to see it. They disappeared fairly quickly.
I don't know that if we had not been intentionally enjoying the experience if we would have noticed all the subtle changes leading up to that minute and 38 seconds of totality. The way we were laying in our chairs we were able to look up and watch the moons progress and look down under the edge of our glasses and observe the world around us. I wish I had been able to get true pictures of the beauty with my camera, but I opted for little photography. I wanted to keep it forever in my memory.
Slowly. That is the word I choose for the experience. Slowly I watched the bright orange glow disappear. Slowly the heat became less intense, the sweat on the back of my neck was replaced by goosebumps and the fans swirled the cooling air past us. Slowly the light dimmed, almost as if somehow we had replaced the natural light with an indoor light that was fading out.
|It was covered about 90% in this picture|
Slowly the woods surrounding our house became very, very quiet. The color became greenish, like when a storm is moving in.
Just as we were marveling at this wonder my phone buzzed, my girl was texting saying how creepy it was outside. I called her back to ask if she was actually watching through eclipse glasses. She wasn't. I told her that it was amazing to see this tiny sliver of sun showing around the moon. It was still bright at that moment, we hadn't hit totality. The tiny spot showing was still powerful enough to light our planet.
The cicadas that had been so quiet in the moments before roared to life. The sound was almost overwhelming. I was stunned. Everything I'd read lead me to believe that they would be stunned to silence. Yet they were louder than ever. They seemed to know something amazing was going to happen. Maybe they were excited, maybe they were fearful, maybe confused. Who knows?
As we hung up to enjoy the moment, that little spot faded.
Not the darkness I anticipated. My solar lights all came on in full brightness. And where that glowing orange globe had been hanging in the sky was the most breathtaking sight. The dark circle of the moon was surrounded with an eerily bright white halo. Not circular, exactly, more jagged. It looked like a rock dropped into a sea of black that had liquid light below. Splashing up around the edges.
Looking around in the middle of the day at the darkness was humbling. It truly made you feel how tiny you are.
Almost as quickly, it was the cool green being lightened by a beautiful sunrise that seemed to come from everywhere. Putting my glasses back on I was blessed to see the "diamond ring". That same itty bitty spot had miraculously lit our world again.
The cicadas stopped almost as quickly as they started. Silence again.
We laid in our chairs for most of the final show. Only leaving as the sun rapidly warmed us back up. Sweat replacing goosebumps. We stepped back out multiple times glancing up through our glasses to enjoy the view. The gift from above.
|almost 90% cleared...|
I delighted in everyone's comments, thoughts, text messages, etc yesterday. For a moment in time, we all became Americans. Some of us suffered disappointment as a large cloud followed the eclipse in, but at the same time delighted in being part of something bigger than ourselves. The pictures, the beauty, the power of nature to awe and inspire.
Hubs and I didn't let the calmness of the day slip by unnoticed. We both savored our vacation day. The morning had been spent doing chores and preparing for splendor. The afternoon. Was spent on us. We both grabbed a much needed nap. And then joined a friend for a wonderful meal and fellowship. Yesterday was a day full of blessings.
Today, is also full of blessings. Even when we don't always realize it. This morning the thunder roared, the lightening lit the skies in a completely different way. And the rain poured down. It's been slow to see the light today. The skies are usually bright and glaring by this point in the day. Today, they are soggy, gray/green and wet.
Our boys did agree to a long, soggy walk. Most unusual. Maybe they needed to feel the beauty of nature.
My hair is still damp. My coffee is now cold.
But my spirit feels fresh and alive. Each time I forget nature reminds me that it is the perfect balm for whatever ails you. It heals the spirit, awakens the mind and restores the body. I think back to different times of trials in my life, each time it was being one with nature that healed me. I believe it is the Japanese that practice Forest Bathing. Maybe the rest of the world needs to realize this?