Where were you during the eclipse of 2017?
That is a question that our children will think back to for the rest of their lives! Many Charlotteans will be witnessing the solar eclipse very close to the path of totality. For those of you who are planners and total eclipse enthusiasts, you have had your hotel booked within the path of totality for months, even years. For those who are a little late to the game, perhaps you’re waking your kids up early for a road trip into the path of totality. Nonetheless, Charlotte is abuzz with eclipse excitement.
I have had some people ask me why I am so excited by a minute of activity (in my book the eclipse should definitely be considered more than a minute of activity). My kids even looked at me a little puzzled when I asked them to block their calendars and told them they had to view the eclipse with our family. Without going into scientific details or perhaps spiritual frames of reference, I shot my replies from the hip. Here are my top reasons as to why we must witness the eclipse:
– The eclipse reminds me of how vast our Universe is and how small we are: it’s about perspective internally and externally.
– It’s a freak of nature: birds stop singing while insects pick up their chorus. Can you imagine what our ancestors must have thought before Google was around?
– Temperatures drop as the moon overshadows the sun. I’ll take some outdoor air conditioning in the middle of August!
You can imagine what the eclipse experience is like but you don’t really know what it is like until you experience it firsthand.
– It’s a family event to be shared together. Thank you Universe for the free show!
– Positive energy from neighboring eclipse viewers will be aplenty from all the excitement in the air!
– Planets that are normally blocked by the sun’s rays will be visible, again reminding me of how we are just a speck in the Universe.
– It’s going to be really dark in the middle of the day! Now that doesn’t happen every day unless you wear your eclipse glasses.
– The sun emits energy. I don’t know much about this scientifically, but I do wonder if we will be able to feel the energy shift in the middle of the day. I hear scientists wonder that too and will be measuring that data for the first time. Cool!
So if you have to work today, please get outside this afternoon! Have no regrets. And include in your list of no regrets not looking directly into the eclipse without your NASA approved glasses. My friend’s grandmother only has peripheral vision due to looking directly at the eclipse as a child.
Are you are a planner or desire to be a little more organized? Then mark your calendars for the next solar eclipse making it’s way across North America on April 24, 2024! And go on and impress yourselves a little more by holding onto your eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. Some of us have had the unfortunate experience of receiving substandard glasses or have paid over $20.00 for a pair.
If you’re getting ready to view the eclipse, I wish you safe and profound viewing experience. And if you are reading this post-eclipse, thank you, and I hope you had a spectacular view and you were able to come away from the perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience with a little giddy up in your step. After all, the universe is a wondrous place. And when have you ever recited the words “path of totality” as often as you have now?