Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Total Eclipse 2024

I'm putting my memory eggs into an unpredictable basket by headlining this post with a Facebook video. No telling what the state of social media will be a year from now, much less twenty years from now. (As if anyone will be eagerly seeking out WWYG?! in 2044.) But nevertheless, this encapsulates the experience in my time, in my "backyard." And, if nothing else--I am hopeful that this significant event will be recorded for posterity in some retrievable fashion for the benefit of the future.

(So . . . let's double down I guess . . .)

But . . . for me . . . this was a truly memorable event. As others have noted today, reflecting on yesterday--it exceeded my imagination. I know the theory of an eclipse. I've experienced partial eclipses. But seeing a totality occur was something that felt awe inspiring.

To have the reality of something match up so well with the description (huh . . . science KNEW what it was talking about!) was remarkable. The diminishment of the light. The coming of twilight. The reveal of stars (probably planets) at 3 pm. The complete blockage of the sun and the exposure of the so-real-it-seemed-fake image of the sun's corona and its electric umbra dominating the black blue of the sky. Seeing the street lights turn on. And through it all, listening to the excited crowd around me as people reacted in wonder to what was happening. I laughed in astonishment and excitement. It took me by surprise how remarkable it actually was.

I wasn't in a spot that was directly in the middle of totality. So our moment of totality was maybe a minute or so in length. What it must have been like to see that blockage, that midnight blue, that electric light for almost four minutes? 

But I'm so happy that something this remarkable occurred in my backyard. (Though Lynda, Jay, and I drove down the road to the soccer fields on Cleveland Avenue--across from the Westerville Community Center.) 

Part of me wishes that I had tried to take better pictures of the totality. But I'm glad that in the moment, I was more focused on the world around me and less on my technology. And I hope that these words can help me remember this moment for years afterward.

There have only been a few times in my adult life were I was unexpectedly caught off guard by the impact of an event. The other that comes immediately to mind is standing at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem in 2012. The moment of awe and the realization that something so much bigger than me was happening . . . really something.


No comments: