Well the Great American Eclipse of 2017 has come and gone. Last time I left you I was leaning toward watching the eclipse from the safety of my living room. I’ll Be Watching the Eclipse From My Couch There’s a link to that post in case you have no idea what I am talking about.
I had every intention of not being a part of the hoopla but then my husband brought home several pairs of official viewing glasses. I had seen many pleas on social media of people still looking for glasses, so I knew these glasses could not go to waste.
What really got me though was a news crew interviewing this guy about his journey to Nashville to watch the eclipse. He had dipped into his savings in order to charter a private jet just to fly him to the Path of Totality. He wanted to see a total eclipse. That way, he said, he would be a little, old man one day, telling his grandkids about that historic day.
Then it struck me, people are crazy but so was I if I didn’t at least step out into my own backyard to watch this once in a lifetime event. I was south of the actual line of totality but I was not about to fight my way into the madness with the people who had flown, driven and walked many miles.
With my husband watching from work and my kids watching from school, I did the next best thing. I called on a few girlfriends. A group of us decided to meet up at a local Mexican restaurant on the big day. Suddenly, I found myself getting excited, just like everyone else.
We started with lunch because clearly everything is better after tacos. Then we moved out onto the patio. We were only one of a handful of groups at the restaurant because as I expected every one else had went for totality, but the restaurant was perfect for us.
We kept a watch on the sun and the clock. 1:28 P.M. was the time we were supposed to get as close to a total eclipse as we were going to get. So we stood around waiting like this, a whole lot.
Then when our necks began to hurt we did some of this.
We even got the restaurant staff in on the fun.
A girlfriend amped the anticipation by blasting Total Eclipse of the Heart from her phone. She couldn’t possibly have known how many times I sang that song into my hairbrush as a child. But it sure felt like she did. The stage was set.
Then the big moment came. The sun grew barely visible through our eclipse glasses. Simultaneously, it grew darker outside. It was like dusk. The street lights came on and the temperature dropped slightly.
Next thing we knew the Katydids and crickets started singing from the trees. You know the bugs that let you know when you were supposed to make your way home, back when you were a kid?
I looked around and outside of every other business around, there were people standing in small groups. All gazing up at the sky and noting how the sweltering summer day had turned to a warm summer evening. Even the insects seemed to agree.
I felt like we were all connected. My girlfriends, the people standing outside of the bank next door, the people in Nashville and the people watching from all over the country. We all took a few moments out of our busy lives, to put our differences aside, in order to experience something that was way bigger than any of us.
All we wanted in that moment, was for the sun, moon and earth to do their thang. And maybe a great picture to share on social media. Way to go, heavenly bodies. When it was over and the sky began to brighten again, I can honestly say that I had a feeling of childlike giddiness. I’m not sure you can explain it. You maybe have to live it.
And I know I am not alone. My social media was filled with people trying to articulate the same sentiment. A feeling of something truly amazing just happened.
When I look back years from now on the Great American Eclipse of 2017, I will remember exactly where I was and who I watched it with. It was so nice to come together, even if for just a moment. Maybe we shouldn’t wait for another once in a lifetime event of nature, for that to happen again.