I decided to fall head first into the romanticism of the solar eclipse that is zooming its way to a streak across the United States. We do not live in the “total” path area –but, because of my enthusiasm, I managed to rouse the family and, as a result, we are lucky enough to have a hotel room booked on Sunday, August 20, the day before the eclipse. The hotel room is less than a day’s drive away — but according to predictions from NASA, traffic will be a spiraling nightmare on Sunday.
I’m buying into the eclipse-hype in all its splendor– believing that it is more important to watch this than it is to go to school that day. Add to it the beautifully written novel, He Said She Said, which I have not finished, is about “Eclipse Chasers,” and some other sinister background plot — I am enthralled because of the poetic way they describe the stillness among the animals that happens just before the eclipse — how can any of us resist this moment?
But of course, I would be enamored with all things celestial. I have been enraptured with the stars so many, many times here on this earth… Seeing them as markers that connect us when we are far apart from each other, like when my brother said, as a child, “We have the moon just like that in our yard too.”
Like the mother that sees us all the time — we think it’s always there and so predictable, and then, it does something really radical — like disappear behind the moon!
But, even that was planned. Astronomers may be in awe of the celestial spheres — but they are not surprised by them. The paths of the heavens have been charted and determined for centuries — which makes them all the more irresistible.
But, when explaining my enthusiasm to a friend, she shook her head and said — “What difference will it make? It could be cloudy.”
And there, my friend is the difference. This is a total eclipse — and when it’s dark, not even a cloud will make one bit of difference.