Monday, August 21, 2017

Experiencing Totality

I stood up on the hilltop. 

Soft Wyoming air whispered around me, strangely still, strangely cool for an August morning. 

I glanced around at the strange shadows at my feet. The quality of the light was surreal - faded and brassy. 

Slipping my cardboard eclipse glasses back over my eyes, I looked back at the eclipsing sun. Only a tiny crescent of her light still shone out from behind the moon, and in an instant, I watched the last golden glimmer fade away until everything around me was black. 

 I felt an unexpected sense of sadness. Or fear. Of loss. 

Either my husband or a voice deep inside me said, "Take off your glasses."

So I did 

And in that instant, the world was transformed. 

Pulsing in the sky above me was nothing I've ever imagined. The deep dark circle at the center was surrounded by a ring of silver light. These dancing, glowing arms illuminated the heavens and I could not take my eyes off them. 

In a flash, I clapped my hand over my mouth - a gesture I've never made before. Tears began to roll down my face. 

"Look all around you." 

The colors of sunset softened the horizons in every direction. The mountains lay reflected in the lake, and the colors were doubled in that reflection. 

The sky was deep blue, like the regular sky just after sunset, soft and dusky.  

The pulsing silver light poured down, transforming the ordinary landscape into impossible beauty. 

I was not expecting this. 
I was not ready for this. 

And while this may sound extreme, I knew as I stood on that hilltop, turning round and round to drink in this astounding sight as the tears fell down my face, that I will never be the same again.  

For now I feel like I've seen the face of God. 

And I'm not at all afraid to die 

Because today, I do believe I got a glimpse of heaven. 

* * * * *

Here's the full story of my odyssey to the Great American Solar Eclipse

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