Skip to main content

A Glimpse Behind the Veil

I've been debating whether or not I should write about this topic, seeing as how it has been talked about so much in the last few days that it's now like a piece of used chewing gum; it has lost all of its flavor.

I had the day off from work on Monday, August 21, and I had the opportunity to view the eclipse with my family. We rushed around, trying to find the "perfect" location to watch the show. I found myself getting worked up trying to get things together, and getting to where we were going before the crowd gathered.

We did pick an excellent spot ( so did the other hundred people) and I was well pleased with how the whole thing played out. Although I had been preparing mentally for what we were about to witness, I had no idea how intense the experience was in reality.

In that crowd, I saw people who were different, but the same: Hispanic, Arab, Indian, black, white, young, old, fat, thin, liberal, conservative, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and non-affiliated.

In the moments leading up to totality, everyone was buzzing with excitement and expectation. You could literally feel the electricity moving through the crowd in that lake-front park that day. People on their blankets and in chairs and in boats floating on the green water of the lake-- everybody happy and smiling, everybody looking up.

As the moon moved across the face of the sun, ALL OF US watched the world go dark, the streetlights across the lake coming on. We heard the sound of crickets and watched the sky darken to a bruised shade of twilight blue and the stars appeared. Every person standing on the shore of that lake removed their protective glasses, and watched our moon veil the light of a giant ball of fire, some 93 million miles away.

Awe.

The joyful cheers from every tongue fell silent, even if it was only for a moment, and there was a sense of unity and peace. I believe that in that moment there was a moment of reflection happening in every mind of every person out there. In that minute and a half or so, we saw something in the sky-- something that was far more important to us than anything else going on in the world.

Some people will tell you that this event was to prepare us for something much greater, and I'd have to agree with them. But what I can say for sure is that for that short period of time, if your eyes were focused on that object in the sky, you weren't thinking about the political circus all around us, or racism, or whatever cause is being fought for all over our country and the world. At that moment, mankind and the natural world was the cause. The beauty and wonder of this eclipse was the thing that brought us together, not a political party or ideology. We didn't have to have some blowhard expert analyze what we were seeing, or tell us how to think about it. Deep down, we all knew.

For a couple of minutes that day, millions of people looked up and saw the eye of God, staring back at us, and for once, everything was alright. We knew the darkness would fade and the sunlight would return, and all fear was gone. A second chance, a renewal, if you will.

I don't know about you-- you may think it was just a stupid eclipse-- but I want to have that feeling again. I want to be blown away again. I'm fascinated with natural phenomenon, with nature here on this big ball of dirt and out there, also. I want to learn things, know things. I want to be enthralled by the mysteries that are beyond my comprehension. More moments like that. I don't care about your race or religion or creed. The only thing I care about is sharing my world and my words with you.



Comments

  1. What a blessing to experience this with so many wonderful people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was. It was a joy to spend this time with my family. Hopefully this will be something that our children will remember and relate the story to their children and grandchildren. And when they tell about the experience, they'll recall how their parents shared this time with them. Thanks.

      Delete
  2. Let's hope that millions of people experienced just a tiny portion of that movement of the heart you expressed so well, Josh, and that it may be a beginning realization that there is a life force greater than individuals or small demigods we encounter every day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, Dean, most people don't realize that happenings and experiences like these are gifts from God, a display of power and beauty, and of course a sign of hope for humanity. If we would take time to appreciate what we've been given instead of complaining about what we don't have, our lives would be so much better. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Hemlock Cathedral

The morning fog was lifting in the mountains and the sunlight had began to filter through the trees. I turned off the asphalt highway onto the gravel road. The only other vehicle in the parking area was an old International Scout, so I took a few minutes to check it out as I slung my pack over my shoulders and grabbed my hiking staff, and then started walking.I walked for a few minutes, and up ahead, I saw an old man and a dog. The man was sitting on a big rock, and his dog was just standing there beside him. The old man looked to be in his seventies, he had a wild grey beard and a floppy hat and glasses as thick as Coke bottles. His shirt was unbuttoned to his navel, and had white chest hair and a gold rope chain hanging out."Beautiful day, ain't it?" he said."Yessir.""Looks like you're headed to the top," gesturing at my pack."Guess so," I said, "You too?""Nah, this is enough for me. But I can't think of a holier pla…

Small Gifts

About this time of year, turtle hatchlings like this little snapper emerge and make their way to the creek like all the generations before them. Why the turtle mom chose to lay her clutch behind my daughters' swing set is beyond me, but she has for the past couple of years. This young turtle had somehow evaded the cat and the lawnmower, and he was found climbing the high bank in front of our house-- the turtle equivalent of El Capitan. We set the little snapper off on his journey and whispered a prayer for his safe travels. Earlier this summer, an eastern river cooter layed her clutch beside our back porch and as of yet, there is no sign of their hatching. We watched and waited, but so far, nothing. Maybe our presence and the presence of our dog caused her to change her mind. That night, the soil was packed tight, and we were sure she'd finished the job and returned back to the water in the dark. We are still waiting... All over the yard now, there are tiny orange toads jumpi…

A Letter To My Father

Two years ago, this very night, you were still here among the living. You had no idea of what was to come in the early hours of the morning, but I know you had some inkling. You'd been talking about it for a while, and the Sunday before, I was told that you 'd made things right.Your mind and body were weak from fighting to hold onto your spirit, but your spirit was so much stronger, and it was determined to be set free. Your pain would soon be over, but you liked to fight, always did. You were the most stubborn human being that I have ever known, and I know that at the end, you were no different. I'm sure it wasn't your choice to go, despite all those times you cried, saying you wanted to die and be put out of your misery. When the medics had worked so long on you and decided to give up on you, your heart started back beating, as if out of spite.  I wonder sometimes what those last few hours were like for you. I wish I could've been there for you, like all the time…