Eclipse Notes

“Blue Eclipse” Batik by David Lucht

As totality approached the light around us dimmed. At first this progressed in a kind of familiar way, like when the sky gets hazy. But then in the final ten minutes the quality of light became very unique. It wasn’t “sort of like” anything I’d ever seen. The set of wavelengths that came off that final sliver of sun allow an ordinarily unseen band of color to emerge in the visual spectrum, one that is reserved for just these occasions.

The blue sky shifted to a deep cool gray. The clouds on the horizon turned sunset rose. The air cooled.
I glanced through the eclipse glasses at the disappearing sliver of sun and then back at the rapidly darkening landscape. Back and forth. Fast changes. Sundown on time lapse.
Then it was dark. I looked up without the glasses and saw the diamond ring. That moment was fleeting, treasured, spectacularly beautiful.
And then we were in the totality.
A black disc with petals of brilliant corona was now above us. So extraordinary. An underserved gift. Then we saw Venus. We talked about the light as being “not quite night.” Then for another minute nothing changed. The small crowd we were in was buzzing and “whooping” and I joined in.  I gave Stefanie an eclipse kiss.
 A great wave of gratitude and peace came over me. I was fortunate to share it all with family. Wendell Berry said the religious impulse has much to do with our response to underserved gifts. So it does.
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