Eclipse Chasing, Life Lessons

IMG_0602Today is the day after the eclipse and I am sitting here on my couch reflecting on our amazing adventure. We decided a while back that we would travel down to the path of totality. We booked a room in a small town in Tennessee and figured we’d choose a place of viewing once we were down there. That is how we take trips. We never over plan the details and it always works out better than we could ever envision. If you think about it, it is a good way to take life on, as well. Plan the things you must and don’t worry about the little details. Right? Right!

I feel as though I have so much I can share and I don’t know where to begin. Can I even find words to describe the experience? When I close my eyes, I can still feel the overwhelming emotions of the two and a half minutes of totality. More though, when I think of the entirety of the trip itself I am reminded of how small we all are. There is nothing more in life I enjoy more than humbling moments. This one tops them all. I wonder if we were to see another total eclipse, could it conjure up the same feeling(s)? If so, I shall beg my husband to become eclipse chasers.

The people of the eclipse may have impacted me just as much as the eclipse itself. Even at the hotel we met a couple whose daughter lives in our area. As I was talking to them, a young lady overheard us talking and picked up her stuff and sat with us. She just graduated from the local high school. Another man overheard and approached us because he lives close as well. Talking with them, we all found more connections. Oh, how I love connections.

The traffic to the eclipse wasn’t too bad. We bypassed some of the heavy traffic, thanks to my husband’s navigational skills. Us being us, we didn’t even decide on a spot to see the eclipse until we were almost there. Matt was checking out the map as I drove. He found a small town with a county park that seemed to be a perfect spot. It was! It was absolutely perfect. It had a beach and a splash pad for the kids to stay busy prior to the event. The place was not packed and was relaxing. Matt took the boys to play while I set up our spot.

There were two older ladies next to us that I started talking with. They were complete opposites of each other, but were best friends. I was fascinated by them both. Maybe because they were both a good mix of myself. One was a talkative lady who so obviously loved learning about people’s lives just as I do. The other was an introverted retired Air Force nurse who rekindled my love for nursing by her amazing stories and mark she made in nursing. When it was time for us to leave after the eclipse, both ladies gave me a huge hug. As I opened my car door one of the ladies said in her sweet southern accent, “We sure do have a lot in common.” I nodded and said, “We sure do. How glad I am that we decided to park by you ladies!”

Without further ado, the total eclipse. It is hard to describe. As Oliver said with his hands up, “It was just awesome.” Yes it was. It was awesome in the way awesome is intended to be. Awesome has been overused to the point it has lost its awesomeness. Anyway, in the moments leading up, everyone and everything became quiet and still. Anticipation built and it was as though you could feel it bubble up and then release when the moon fully covered the sun. All you could hear around were oohs and aahs and words such as awesome and amazing. Everyone looked around at each other as if to wonder if it was really happening. Matt described it as feeling like he was in movie. It was surreal.

One moment it was light and the next it was dark. It wasn’t pitch black though, which was good. All around in the distance it was like a 360 sunset with the beautiful colors peeking through. In the sky we saw the mighty black moon and a slight majestic glowing around it. It was the fastest two minutes of my life. It was the most awe-inspiring as well. Everything else left my mind. No worries, no to-do list, nothing but what was around me. We only snapped a couple picture and Matt took a quick video. When you see it, you just know a picture or a video cannot do it justice. Just like my words cannot do it justice.

The thing that stuck with me the most is how the moon completely covered the sun and yet there was a light that still remained. Reminds me of the world we live in.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

-John 1:5

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