I guess you have to scroll down to see the 3-part blog posts I did on my Eclipse Adventure. This post is written several days after returning home:
I've been home for five days now. I've seen and heard of others' accounts of the eclipse and by now, as things do these days, we've all moved on to other topics of contemplation and conversation. That whole eclipse thing is "so last week"... or nearly so.
But I'm still basking in the experience.
I've heard some say they were glad they didn't brave the crowds and were satisfied with the "partial" view they got from areas outside the path of totality. I've heard some say they thought it was no big deal and "over-hyped". Some observed it with thousands of other people, talking, cheering, and toasting together. Some really did get caught up in massive traffic snarls. Some were blown away by it.
As with anything, we all bring our own expectations and intentions to any event and then our interpretations vary accordingly. There are as many nuances of subjective experience as there are people. Why did it have such a profound impact on me in ways that it didn't on others?
I know that going to the path of totality days early allowed a time for shifting energy away from the hustle, bustle of every day life to a slower pace, time in nature, eager anticipation, a shared excitement with others who slowly trickled into the area. I loved feeling a part of, and apart from, the gathering of folks at the lake -- dropping in for daily visits to see and chat with visitors from all over the area, astronomy buffs, photographers, tourists, hippie-types, families, and people whose languages and accents were German, French, and Spanish -- then retreating to our private camp area. I know that I really did think of it as a celestial event that was beyond human interference and this was a welcome perspective at a time when my involvement with (and dismay over) the current political debacle has overwhelmed me with human concerns.
Had all the dire predictions come to pass, I might have had a totally different experience. But they didn't. It was nearly perfect in spite of my pre-trip fretting. Even this relief likely contributed to my open heart, calm mind, and relaxed body on the day of the eclipse. I also loved that my companions and I saw it as a time for silent observance and not a "woo-hoo!" party excuse.
Not to take anything away from another's experience, but I believe seeing the eclipse in totality had to be a profoundly different experience than seeing it in partial. In my mind's eye, I still see the sun disappear, go dark, and reappear. I can still feel the same sense of awe, of fear, of joy I felt in that meadow. I've returned to that image over and over this week to ground me, to remind me that all of our human cares are but nothing to the greater Universe. And I also feel that vision and those emotions motivate me.
Humans, so far as we know, are the current pinnacle of evolution. We have a responsibility to further the journey, not halt it. How many before us have gazed at the heavens for inspiration in dark times? I am them, finding my way by the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars. In the moment of the eclipse I felt a death and a rebirth. I felt an overwhelming sense of Love for this creation that pulls us all forward, ever into the light.
At least, that's the view from here...©
Photo: Sunrise from my dining room window