Saturday, August 26

The total solar eclipse of 2017

photos from March of this year by Xan Craven of Xan's Eye Photography || IG: @xanseye    

     It was over a month ago when Richard said some old friends from growing up had invited our family to come join a little 'eclipse' party they were throwing. They live in Rexburg, Idaho which was right in the full totality zone, so even though I was a bit apprehensive about the kids missing a school day, everyone was excited enough about it that I figured it couldn't hurt. It did seem like a pretty good opportunity, but I'd just become so tired of traveling away from home, and I was pretty sure that it wouldn't live up to all the crazy hype that had been going on. What I didn't realize was what a truly incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it would turn out to be.

     We made the drive last weekend as a family, and spent a couple relaxing and fun-filled days with those sweet friends with the kids playing in their big back yard and swimming in the sunshine. They also watched several movies on the projector screen all piled in a big heap, and we made s'mores every day. There were long talks for the adults late into the night with pot pie and laundry folding, and when the morning of the big eclipse came we all made little preparations outside as the kids played and the park next door filled up with people to watch. 

     The ladies used paper plates to help the special glasses have better coverage for all the little ones and tied elastic between the straps so they'd stay on well, and we all sat outside eating brownies and melon and talking as the changes started happening around us.
     The first thing was obviously seeing a little crescent shape cut out of the sun as the moon started to move across it, and we all looked up with our glasses now and then with interest as the coverage grew. The next thing was seeing the light around us noticeably dimming quite a bit. I was surprised to start to feel chilled as the temperature dropped, and I went inside to gather up a couple jackets and blankets for the children and myself. When I came out again there was only a sliver of the sun showing, and it was about as dark as dusk outside.

     I made sure all the children had their glasses still firmly in place before looking up with my own pair, and as the excited noise from the crowd next-door grew we all watched in utter amazement as the last of the sun disappeared behind the moon. We all took off our glasses as the bright glimmering ring and corona appeared behind the new moon and I was totally blown away. I had seen many pictures and even video clips of total solar eclipses before, but this was unlike anything I had been expecting. None of those captures did justice to what I was seeing, and I couldn't help but exclaim out loud in amazement at how incredible and beautiful it was. The cheers that erupted from the crowd next door and of my friends and family filled my ears and only helped to add to the emotions welling up in my chest that I can't quite describe. It was as if time was paused, and the earth faded away for a moment, and I felt so individually lucky for myself and my little family to be able to witness such a celestial event. I felt such a connection to the skies and to heaven, and an assurance that each one of us is unique and beautiful in our own way, that we're worthy of love, and that we matter so so much. My heart felt so large, and tears stung my eyes a bit as I experienced overwhelming love for this world and for my beautifully broken life.

     I hope that I can remember those feelings more. I want to be better at recognizing the constant reminders of the good things in my life and the love that I do have, and not let the pain of the past blind me so often. I strive to remember how much of a difference we all make just by being ourselves and trying our best, instead of letting self-doubt take over and beat me down. It's amazing the things that go through my mind about myself that I would never let me children think about themselves for a second. But in that moment of complete totality, with that perfect diamond ring of light shinning down at us in the near darkness, I held Richard's and Lydia's hands and I wanted to strive more towards acceptance of who I am now, and who I can be moving forward. To be the kind of mother, giver, wife, friend, maker, doer, and believer that I've always seen as out of my reach, but at that moment seemed more like a goal that we all can achieve.
     I could see the eclipse as being extremely anticlimactic for anyone outside of the totality zone and especially for many others who couldn't or didn't care to catch it at all, but for my family and our sweet friends it was an awesome and fun experience, and for some of us it was even a pretty life-changing one. I'm so grateful we were there to see it.

     So, did you manage to catch the eclipse? haha
          Take care friends,


  1. We had a similar experience as our home near Nashville was in the path of totality! Life changing is not exaggeration.
    It happened to be our anniversary and it felt like the universe was celebrating with us. ��

  2. Sadly I wasn't able to view this incredible event but was able to imagine it thanks to you sharing

  3. I love reading this. I believe it will be a memory that your children will remember for life :)

  4. So glad that you guys all got to share this experience together! I think it's one of those special moments that will glue you're new family together, that your kids will always remember :)

  5. In Sweden we just call it "november" :-D

  6. We live in an area that was at the top of the list to see totality. I was not expecting to be blown away but I can't even describe my feelings. It was so much more than I could have imagined. I am so glad you were able to enjoy that moment as well.

  7. We live in southern Ontario and were supposed to see about 76%. Let's just say that I'm excited to be in the path of totality for the 2024 eclipse!!

  8. Such a great experience for your kids!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes