I will be adding to this as I have more thoughts, but wanted to get this posted sooner than later…
I guess I’m just another witness to a total solar eclipse, who doesn’t know how to describe what he just saw. I’m not even sure I can really remember what I saw. I’ve been trying to watch my solar eclipse videos and look at pictures to job the memory of something happened only 24 hours ago.
We drove from Provo, Utah, up to Iona, Idaho to witness this solar eclipse and to celebrate my good friend Patrick’s 42nd birthday.
We arrived at Patrick’s old buddy’s home in Iona and quickly exchanged handshakes and hugs with everyone there, introducing ourselves and thanking our hosts for allowing us to be there.
Video of the eclipse, in 47 seconds
But there wasn’t much time before this solar event.
Frantically, I worked as quickly as I could to set up my iPad on the back of the homeowner’s truck, so that video would capture the scene as we watched the sequence of this eclipse. I couldn’t get it to sit horizontally, so reluctantly I settled on a very narrow vertical frame (it wouldn’t turn out to be bad, but I wish I could have captured more of what was outside of the video — kids running around, adults gasping, etc.)
As we watched with our eclipse sunglasses on, we knew that soon a moment would arrive when the moon would finally touch the side of the sun and begin to move in front of it, like a curtain over a little window.
When it finally did, voices excitedly rose and children started running around happily. The more and more the sun was closed in on by the moon, the cooler it got, the stranger it got, and then finally — darkness.
We all took our glasses off and witnessed what I know I won’t be able to describe in any of these paragraphs: In the middle of a summer’s day — a fall breeze. In the middle of day — night.
The Moon hung in the center of the sun, perfectly, presenting a picture which is unavailable to the world, except very few times. Most people will probably never experience a solar eclipse. Today is the first day of my life that I feel badly for these people.
As the edges of the moon caught fire, I couldn’t help but remain transfixed. I became antsy, knowing that this would only last a couple of minutes. Quickly, I interviewed my three daughters on video and asked them simple questions, like, “What do you think of this!?”
We also noticed a hawk, flying erratically and screeching in protest at this strange event.
I kissed my wife under the 2017 solar eclipse.
I noticed how happy my friends were around me. I resolved to never forget this moment.
And then, as soon as the sun started to slip past the edge of the moon, I realized that our two minutes of odd, quiet glory were up and that I was already starting to forget the details of what I’d just seen.
No wonder people chase this event all around the world.
All I knows is that the one feeling I was left with at the end of this whole thing, was…”unfulfilled”. One solar eclipse isn’t enough for me. I need more experiences to be able to capture what it is I’m trying to capture.
For now, suffice it to say, it was a feeling of belonging, of togetherness with friends and family. The experience was sacred.