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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse of Calmness

Well?  How was the solar eclipse for you?

For some people, this was the first time that they would ever see a solar eclipse.  Until recently, I thought that this one was my first one.  I guess I forgot about the one that happened on May 10, 1994.  I shouldn't have really blocked it out either.  I was in seventh grade and the school purposely kept us inside during lunch hour until the eclipse passed.  I guess there are a few memories that have faded as I grow older.

But we're not here to talk about the 1994 eclipse.  We're here to discuss the here and the now.  Well, okay, the here and then.  By now, the solar eclipse is over and it looks like my next chance to see on is in April 2024 - according to Wikipedia, anyway.  And we all know that Wikipedia NEVER lies...

Still, it was a great experience.  Unfortunately, my area didn't get a chance to see a total eclipse.  I think we were in a spot where 65%-75% was covered.  Not bad, but could have been better.

And it's not as if I had the proper equipment to view it either.  I doubt my glasses with Transitions lenses would have been powerful enough.  I didn't have any welding goggles.

I couldn't even make a pinhole camera because all of the cereal boxes in my house were full.  And I don't know about you, but I can't eat a full size box of Honey Nut Cheerios in one sitting.

(Cap'n Crunch, MAYBE...but not Honey Nut Cheerios.)

At least CNN broadcast the event live on television so I could watch it without destroying my eyes any more than I already have (I sat too close to the TV a lot as a kid).  I got home just in time to see footage of the total eclipse in Casper, Wyoming.  It was absolutely stunning to see.

I guess it just goes to show that in many ways, the universe is a lot bigger than we all thought it was.  Here is an event that only takes place every few years (in the case of a total eclipse, it could take centuries), and almost all of us paused to take watch.  In those brief moments, we all forgot about our problems, and just gazed at the natural beauty that came from a solar eclipse.

I know these past few days have been quite tumultuous in regards to how scary the world has seemed.  Terrorist attacks, race riots, extremist political views, and of course the threat of nuclear war.  It's so easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of the world that we sometimes forget how to truly appreciate the beauty that is part of our universe.  I suppose the eclipse in that aspect is a bit symbolic.  Sometimes darkness moves into the light and tries to steal it away...but it never last for very long.  Eventually, the light finds a way to push the darkness back out.

I'm glad that for just a few minutes at least, we all had some degree of calm and that we could all find our light.

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