We traveled here to see family. It seemed auspicious to plan a family visit at a time that will be remembered as a singular event by our children and grandchildren. I recall viewing an eclipse through a pinhole box sometime in the 60’s, surrounded by generations of my family. As we left, the hype was minimal in northern New York where the view is not so impressive. Here, the planning for impossible traffic jams and unruly hordes began months ago. At t-minus 25 hours, the streets are empty.
The upcoming solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 has been dubbed, “The Great American Eclipse.” It is a narcissistic view; distinctly American, that the celestial workings of the universe are relevant only as they impact our country. The sun; our source of energy, and the yang or male aspect of our personal and planetary existence, will be blocked by the moon. For 1 min 56 sec, the Yin, or female aspect will occlud the sun’s influence. On Monday morning we will see what ancients saw. At that time most of us will look up at the darkened sky and celebrate our good fortune to live with such surety of survival.
I am reminded of my own personal experience with TOTALITY. It was a decade ago in a different time and place. We took our questions of a personal and community nature “outside.” It was the practice to sit alone in nature, minus creature comforts and without contact with others, for a complete rotation of the sun. Many important understandings came with the flies and the hummingbirds. I will always carry the revelations of this intentional exploration with me. They stripped away the noise, bringing the “meaning of life” down to the elements.
The epiphany happened when the night lived beyond its usual boundaries. In the inky blackness, fear and fatigue altered perception. I remember in my bones the moment when separateness known as ego slipped away. The rustling and the night calls ceased. Everything; animal, wind, breath went still. We all waited.
Until that night, I didn’t know this happened. That dawn, I sat on the ground in community with every other creature and plant as we waited for the return of the sun. We all sat in rapt devotional silence at the darkest part of the night. It had never occurred to me that the arrival of the next day was a question.
Breaking through current human constructs, laying them aside it IS clear. Continuation of life is not a given, it is a gift. The birds and the animals knew enough to sit quietly. Many People around the world sit quietly at sunrise to wait reverently and respectfully to see IF they are granted another day. And it clearly was IF not when. When you seek that space of existence, you are in the TOTALITY.
I look forward to tomorrow morning. I hope it reawakens my sense of gratitude for each day as it dawns. It is a miracle.