After all the hype and hurroar, it finally happened. It came, and it went, and the world is back to normal, at least on these few acres.
We considered traveling south to see the total eclipse, but a four-hour journey one way to get another 10% of it didn't seem worth the time and trouble. And as I heard reports of traffic jams I knew it was a good decision. So we stayed home. I watched the whole show, with a few darts inside to cool off (it's about 90 degrees here) and Larry didn't pay much attention to it at all. His eclipse glasses were a waste, I think.
I remember an eclipse when I was a child, in 1958 or 1959 I think it was, and we stood in our backyard and looked at the sky. I don't remember any special glasses, but I do remember my mother warning us not to look directly at the sun. Which puzzled me, because we often laid on our backs in the grass, looking up at the sun and sky. I remember it got rather dark, but that's about all I can recall. This was not a total eclipse, but it was impressive to a child of 8 who had just learned about how the sun and moon travel around the earth.
There was another that I remember after I moved here. I was up on top of the ridge and a neighbor was there--he told me there was going to be an eclipse and we watched it together. It was just a partial one, and again I didn't have special glasses or equipment.
This time I bought the recommended glasses and I am glad I did because I doubt I'd have seen much without them. I put them over my camera lens to take photos, and got a fair result. But mostly I wandered in the yard, picking some ripe white grapes and watching the birds to see what they would do. I picked a yellow apple and munched that with the grapes, a make-do lunch in between sky watching. It was quiet--so quiet. Only the rain crows (mourning doves) were calling, predicting rain in the next 24 hours. An indigo bunting perched on the telephone line but it was silent. Even the breeze died down, and the mid-day insects were silent. It was as if everything was waiting.
Maybe when people looked around at each other and smiled, or looked at the beauty around them, the lushness and richness of this great land, maybe they came away with a feeling of new hope and resolve. Maybe.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.