Like many, I anticipated the solar eclipse for several weeks. I planned a menu on Pinterest and created a playlist on Spotify, but we drank water and listened to the birds and crickets. We kept the kids home from school. After a long summer with hardly any adventure, I did not want to miss this opportunity to experience “life” with them – 1918 was the last time a full solar eclipse passed across the entire United States.
We decided to stay put rather than drive to reach a totality zone. Matt and I worked in the morning, and we didn’t want to get caught up in crazy eclipse-seeking traffic. My in-laws and a couple of neighbors joined us – an unplanned solar eclipse party of sorts. We pulled out camping chairs and deck chair cushions. We didn’t have enough glasses to go around, so we all took turns looking up at the sun as the moon slowly moved in front of it, beginning at about 1:30 PM.
“It looks like Pac-Man!” my son exclaimed. Sure enough, I put my glasses on and looked up to see the moon covering about a quarter of the sun. Amazing.
We sat there in the shade, sipping our waters and talking about my in-law’s upcoming trip to Norway, my recent doctor’s visit, and my neighbor’s computer issues. The kids ran up the driveway and back down on plasma cars, the deep roar of the wheels swirling with their delighted, high-pitched squeals. We’d occasionally move into the sunlight, put our glasses on, and look up at the moon’s progress: halfway covering the sun, then three-quarters, slowly consuming more and more. The temperature dropped ever so slightly, and a small breeze blew, leaving goosebumps on my arms. The sweltering August afternoon felt more like a September evening as daylight turned to a kind of dusk.
2:36 PM, my son informed us, is when the moon would completely cover the sun in our exact area. The street lights flickered on. Eclipsed-shaped moon shadows danced across the driveway. An ethereal light and mood covered the yard. Time stood still.
We march along to this busy beat as our days come and go, restricting us from the quietness and the noticing. In the few moments of evening-daytime when the moon passed in front of the sun, I was reminded of just how small yet celestial we are. We are these little fleeting people, micromanaging our possessions and skin colors and appearances and beliefs — when the moon, hanging in space 250,000 miles away, passes in front of the sun, hanging in space 93 million miles away, and leaves dimness and darkness across the entire United States for a few fleeting moments? Can we root down to rise?
“There’s an opportunity for us to focus on things that will move us into a ‘higher vibration,’ matching the increasing vibe of the Earth’s, adding exponentially to the harmony and love of all that follows,” Mike Dooley said yesterday morning, and the words stuck with me all day.
Would the God of the Universe, who holds the planets and moons and stars together, not also care deeply for each one of us? Let’s raise the vibration, people. We know what to do.
“If we all light up, we can scare away the dark.” ~Passenger