Final Eclipse Thoughts
The Barest of things...
There were two vocal groups going in to Monday’s “once in a lifetime” solar eclipse. One group was head over heels in excitement ready to scream, yell and cry at the sight of the eclipse like a teenage girl at a Beatles concert. The other group celebrated general misery about the whole thing and publicly prayed for rain, clouds, or anything else that would ruin everybody else’s fun.
I, as usual, was decidedly in the middle. I looked forward to experiencing the event with my family, I was nauseated by the amount of traffic and general public I would potentially have to endure, and I honestly had no idea what to expect out of roughly two minutes of darkness in the middle of the afternoon. I started my Monday with an open mind, tempered expectations, and a moderate grip on social anxiety ahead of the crowds I would surely face.
At 2:37 on Monday afternoon, I was completely blown away.
That was not a simply, “wow, it got dark” sort of moment. It was like someone flipped a light switch and suddenly this bizarrely glowing orb was looming in the sky where the sun used to be. Sitting in the actual shadow of such a unique celestial event, I finally understood what all the damn fuss was about.
I also spent a considerable amount of time wondering what this experience was like for civilizations long ago. They did not have the internet of things to tell them exactly when and where it would happen. They did not have fancy NASA certified glasses to allow them to view the moon’s slow encroachment on the sun’s glare before totality hit. They absolutely did not have any understanding of what was actually going on up there before, poof, things got pretty darn weird all of a sudden.
I can imagine the hysteria, the panic, and the complete absence of understanding of what was going on in that moment. I picture the calls for someone to “Quick, sacrifice a virgin!” as a solution to this sudden apocalyptic moment. I guesstimate that right about the time said virgin was sacrificed, the short minutes of totality had passed.
“Hey, that worked,” was probably the general consensus.
Here’s to an appreciation of all the wonders of our universe, an understanding of how things work, and a celebration of all the virgins that were not sacrificed on Monday. I, for one, am already considering plans for trip to the Midwest in 2024. Maybe I’ll see you there. Fête it be.