Miracle. All of it.

As the entire duration of an eclipse, partial phases and all, embraces two or three hours, often for an hour after “first contact” insects still chirp in the grass, birds sing, and animals quietly continue their grazing. But a sense of uneasiness seems gradually to steal over all life. Cows and horses feed intermittently, bird songs diminish, grasshoppers fall quiet, and a suggestion of chill crosses the air. Darker and darker grows the landscape. […]

Then, with frightful velocity, the actual shadow of the Moon is often seen approaching, a tangible darkness advancing almost like a wall, swift as imagination, silent as doom. The immensity of nature never comes quite so near as then, and strong must be the nerves not to quiver as this blue-black shadow rushes upon the spectator with incredible speed. A vast, palpable presence seems overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly. Birds, with terrified cries, fly bewildered for a moment, and then silently seek their night quarters. Bats emerge stealthily. Sensitive flowers, the scarlet pimpernel, the African mimosa, close their delicate petals, and a sense of hushed expectancy deepens with the darkness. An assembled crowd is awed into absolute silence almost invariably… Often the very air seems to hold its breath for sympathy; at other times a lull suddenly awakens into a strange wind, blowing with unnatural effect.

Then out upon the darkness, grewsome but sublime, flashes the glory of the incomparable corona, a silvery, soft, unearthly light, with radiant streamers, stretching at times millions of uncomprehended miles into space, while the rosy, flaming protuberances skirt the black rim of the Moon in ethereal splendor. It becomes curiously cold, dew frequently forms, and the chill is perhaps mental as well as physical.

Suddenly, instantaneous as a lightning flash, an arrow of actual sunlight strikes the landscape, and Earth comes to life again, while corona and protuberances melt into the returning brilliance, and occasionally the receding lunar shadow is glimpsed as it flies away with the tremendous speed of its approach.

~ Mabel Loomis ToddTotal Eclipses of the Sun, Vol. 1 (1894)


Notes:

  • Post Inspired by:  “An eclipse is just an eclipse, of course. It won’t solve America’s deepening dysfunctions. But perhaps, in drawing so many together, it can offer a reminder of common bonds long forgotten. As millions of Americans look up, if only momentarily, from their phones, maybe they can also look beyond the pettiness of so much of their politics. Among a crowd of strangers gazing at the unnerving splendor above, they might find a brief moment of grace.” ~ Bloomberg View, excerpt from The Meaning of the Eclipse (August 18, 2017) (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)
  • Mabel Loomis Todd Quote: Brainpickings
  • Photograph: A solar eclipse on Nov. 14, 2012, seen from Palm Cove, Australia. Credit – Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images (9 Eclipses, 4 Continents, Never Tired of the Spectacle, NY Times, August 19, 2017)
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Comments

  1. Is that today? I haven’t seen much about it and was wondering when it was going to be? (Kidding, of course. It’s like Masters Week without the golf around here)

    Please pardon my brief response. Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m living large in Keizer/Salem, Oregon…the path of totality, but do envy all those in Madras, Oregon…the central part of our State…sharing this earth experience…estimated 100,000 plus strong. Not only here in Oregon but the entire eclipse path…..emotional and over-whelming visuals of “tent cities” of all of “us” side-by-side throughout, and not only across the United States, but the entire world. That’s right….all of “us”. Side-by-side. Together.
    Perhaps, just perhaps, sharing this brief, historical astrological event will put a breath and breadth of perspective into…all of “us”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing time to be alive. Just don’t look at it directly…the light from Apollo is too bright for mere mortals to gaze upon…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely David! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was awesome, watched southern Illinois and a large cloud was passing, then a clearing came out of nowhere at totality. Everyone cried.

    Majestic reminder of how little we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Envious, David… We don’t get to see it here in Oz; just you guys in the Northern Hemisphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. everything about the eclipse and all that goes with it, is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Miracle is right!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. To get that many people to just stop and observe their natural surroundings, cannot possibly be a bad thing. Thanks David. Great share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Ilona. Especially with all this madness in politics.

      An eclipse is just an eclipse, of course. It won’t solve America’s deepening dysfunctions. But perhaps, in drawing so many together, it can offer a reminder of common bonds long forgotten. As millions of Americans look up, if only momentarily, from their phones, maybe they can also look beyond the pettiness of so much of their politics. Among a crowd of strangers gazing at the unnerving splendor above, they might find a brief moment of grace.” ~ Bloomberg View, excerpt from The Meaning of the Eclipse (August 18, 2017)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This eclipse was something unbelievable, but true. Our nature has for sure an limitless power.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love how the miracles in nature can stop us all and remind us to respect it. 🌒🌛

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I went on a solo road trip to Greenville, SC; not something I usually do. I felt compelled to see this eclipse. It was worth the trip. I felt this emotional sense of unity with everyone around me and everyone in our country for those brief moments–much needed as Bloomberg noted.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. And I missed the whole damned thing. Was driving to work… sigh…
    I love Raye’s comment, of course. She is brilliant, isn’t she? Love her to pieces…

    Liked by 1 person

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