Amazing Today, Family Life, Life Adventures

The Shadow of the Eclipse

August 21, 2017.

I am in Riverton, Wyoming. I have never been here before, but from the encouragement of a friend, I am now standing in the middle of a near-barren desert ranch at 11am in the warm Wyoming sun. I have already spent two nights with my wife, Carmen, in a cozy tent awaiting the celestial event of the century. Now, as our camp group stands silently facing our familiar light source, we await our mother of the night, who will soon jealously align herself directly in between our earth and sun, blotting out the golden rays of our closest star. 

See short video here: https://youtube.com/shorts/zwWeS0rU9VA?feature=share

Through polarized lenses, we see the moon gradually bite its way deeper and deeper into the sun. The landscape becomes eerily quiet. A greenish ambience permeates the desert. Through the lenses, the sun now looks like a crescent moon. The crescent becomes thinner, and darkness begins to blanket the earth. The camp group becomes restless and I hear them chanting inaudibly. Towards the west looms a stormy darkness that creeps towards us at approximately 3,000 miles per hour. It is the umbra, or the shadow of the moon. 

The moon now devours the sun, and only the exterior rays beam beyond the great black hole. We remove our protective lenses as we now peer directly toward the 11:38am sun. 

As we stand together with jaws dropped, we more fully realize the awesomeness of our universe. We silently pray to our celestial gods.  We sacredly understand we are not alone. We bathe in the darkness of totality. 

Like the reflection of light from a diamond’s facet, the sun shoots a giant glare from its circular edge. The temperature drops nine degrees and chills my bare arms. As I turn a complete circle I realize the desert has welcomed my visit with a beautiful orange-red sunset that completely surrounds me. 

There is no beginning or end.

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