The event began yesterday morning with an ever-so-slight shift of light… a bit of darkness. Through my solar eclipse glasses, it appeared as if someone nibbled a small bite out of the sun. Slowly – yet not slowly – the shadow crept its way across the sun’s surface.
As these celestial bodies began to align in the mid-day sky, the terrestrial-bound body of my husband, John, scurried in a mad last -minute scramble for the best vantage point, the perfect camera position, a view of what his chickens were doing or that his party guests were truly looking at the wonder manifest in the heavens. Our guest worried that he would miss this event that, clearly, he had been waiting for with great anticipation since the 6th grade.
The light grew dimmer – almost grey – as the moon made its march across the sun. As a theatre lighting designer, I was most intrigued with the change in the light. The colors of the trees, grass, flowers and our clothing seemed to morph into various shades of the previous colors.
The temperature dropped. My daughters need their sweatshirts.
A drone flew over head. Jets circled high in the sky. A hot air balloon floated peaceful off in the distance.
All around us shouts and screams – from neighbors, from the nearby football stadium, even in our own back yard – exploded when the “diamond ring effect” encircled the moon briefly just as the sun blinked out and we all stood in the full shadow of the moon. My husband jumped up and down like a giddy school boy. He held his face. He turned to everyone in amazement. He ran to the ladder and climbed on the roof to see as far as he could see.
The sun’s outer, thin atmosphere, the corona, stole the show. It surprised me. I tried to take a picture, but the pictures cannot capture the total effect. This was truly something to be experienced!
This amazing part of the sun is normally hidden from our view by the blinding light of the rest of the sun. Pure energy! The detail was exquisite – rich! It was not round. It was wispy, like a cotton ball stretched out in thin layers. It twisted and sparked in certain places. It was so much bigger than I thought is could be as it stretched out into space for miles into space. I cannot begin to describe the whiteness of this light as it lay in contrast to the dark-blue sky. There is nothing like it. Nothing on earth, no earthly experience, can compare to the light the shone around the edge of the moon. No wonder those who have seen God can only comment on the whiteness of the light. This light is truly God’s light.
I had to look around in wonder. The birds had stopped singing. The wrestling dogs had stopped and laid down quietly. The crickets were chirping. It was twilight all along the horizon – in the middle of the day!
A few stars appeared. Venus was visible in the sky.
This wondrous sight lasted somewhere around 2 minutes, until sunlight suddenly peaked out from the right side as the moon slipped off to the left.
Then, as quickly and as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone.
There is something metaphoric about people all looking upward and onward – looking toward something far greater than themselves. For many, this was a spiritual experience. This was proof – we are not an accident. There is a creator. He controls and orchestrates all, from the sun and moon being just the right size and distance for us Earthlings to enjoy the wonders of a solar eclipse to the little crickets that chirped and sang praises through the event.
Many will speculate. Many may have learned a few things from the Spirit for themselves and their families the meaning of the event that transpired yesterday morning. However, only one thing can be undisputedly learned from this experience.
This Creator knows us and loves us. He has a PLAN!
Yesterday we witnessed the hand of God in an extraordinary way. The trick is to remember that he has His hand in our lives every day. All thing point to Him and His greatness: how trees stretch out their branches and sink their roots deep; chickens protecting their hatch-lings; water that brings life to lifeless deserts; and on and on and on. Everything testifies of a Great Creator.
He is here for us everyday. Just like the unseen corona of the sun, He is there. In moments of life, when we feel an eclipse, a loss of light, He is there.
Look to The Light!
I started the day yesterday a little annoyed at all the hype. I thought it was going to be boring. Today, I get why a solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Total solar eclipses are rare events in the United States, even if the happen somewhere around the world every couple of years. The last eclipse to cross my state of Oregon was in 1979. I vaguely remember it. The next one to cross Oregon will be in June of 2169. I don’t think I will make that event. However, the next total solar eclipse to cross the United States is in 7 years, April 8, 2024.
John, do you want to go to Missouri? I’m game!
Watch the video on Youtube – The view from our backyard.