Last week was a week of totalities. Totality, defined by Oxford Dictionaries, as the whole of something. The week began with a solar eclipse. The last solar eclipse in the United States was in 1979, and next will occur in 7 years, in 2024, according to NASA.
I’ll admit, I was excited to view the eclipse. I was 12 the last time the moon moved in front of the sun, and I don’t remember if I saw it. Hubs was being cool about it, so he surprised me at the last minute by volunteering to get special glasses for us to safely view the eclipse. But when you wait until the last two weeks, week, days beforehand, well, you learn that you can safely look up without special glasses when the eclipse is in its totality.
Hubs further surprised me by coming home to experience the eclipse with me. We sat out on the back deck, with the dogs safely inside. Bess, our diabetic dog, is sight challenged with cataracts, and Bailey, has a cataract in one eye. Several people had told us that dogs don’t look up at the sky, but ours do. Bess used to chase airplanes when she could see them, and now Bailey looks for airplanes. We agreed we didn’t need two sight-challenged dogs.
The sky gradually become overcast, and now it was getting dark enough that crickets started chirping, and lights came on. Crickets chirping in the middle of the day. It got cooler, although it was 1,000 degrees that day in Middle Tennessee. OK, it was more like 90, so it wasn’t a very noticeable difference.
At the moment of totality, we looked up and saw a big, old cloud blocking our view. I was glad I hadn’t spent a great deal of time looking for those special glasses. I was surprised that it wasn’t totally dark. Hubs said that’s because the sun’s light shines out from around the moon. I may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but I will give myself credit for not being the dullest. I just hadn’t thought of it that way, and the videos from the eclipse’s trek from Oregon to our neck of the woods made it look like night time. I then told him how the eclipse reminded me of seeing the Hope diamond at the Smithsonian, while on a high school trip to D.C.
At 45.52 carats, I didn’t realize how big the Hope Diamond was at that time in my life. Under the lights and glass, it looked to be the size of a walnut. I thought, is that it? Hubs is a jeweler. I now get how big the Hope Diamond is. Similar experience with Plymouth Rock. It sits down in the ground with a wrought iron fence around it in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Just so you know I’m not the only one who expected something bigger, like maybe the Plymouth Rock featured in those insurance commercials, tripsavvy.com describes it as “surprisingly puny.” But it’s not the physical size of the Hope Diamond and Plymouth rock that matters, but rather the natural beauty of one and the historical significance of the other.
I was not deterred by a cloud or lack of total darkness. I’ll always remember the crescents on the deck, caused by sunlight beaming through gaps in the moon, according to NASA. The crescents reminded me of how sand looks under ocean waves. Most of all, I’ll always remember the few minutes of peace during the eclipse and the absence of negativity on my social media feeds after the eclipse. A welcome reprieve.
This week has been a week of totalities. The solar eclipse. A big work project. Loved ones with serious health issues. Hurricane Harvey. I found myself thinking back to the peace of the eclipse more than once this week, when faced with issues that seem to be the whole of my life and those around me. The eclipse and work project were brief totalities, but the loved ones with serious health issues and Hurricane Harvey will linger.
But I am not deterred. I’ll look for sunlight beaming through gaps of darkness and pray for peace for my loved ones and the loved ones of others weathering the storms of life and nature. Because we are all the whole of something.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Harris, My Mom