I have so much to share about my unbelievable weekend, but today I have to interrupt my schedule. The celestial wonder on Monday dazzled me. It was a mood enhancer for sure. One I can’t shake and want to relive while it is fresh in my mind. (Stay tuned for Killer Whales reunion in photos!)
Wonder, curiosity, and marvel sum up my current mood.
Perhaps you might be sick of the eclipse by now. Well, here is your warning, I am going to gush about this moment in time, because it had an incredible impact on me. Stick around and experience it all over again with me, through my eyes and the music in my ears.
Here is my eclipse adventure…music included!
The Velvet Underground-Who Loves The Sun
When the celestial heavens invade the everyday life of millions of Americans, I can’t help but get in on the excitement. Monday was a memorable day for all who waited and witnessed the inevitable darkening just after midday. The eclipse was a once in a lifetime performance, as the moon slipped over the sun in a stunning show of complete authority.
We drove from Charleston, the last land viewing site of the eclipse (where NASA had set up a camp) to Greenville, SC. Worrying it was a nutty move, we ventured on remembering we had a cozy place to stay for the night thanks to family. We also thought it smarter to be closer to Atlanta. The spontaneous travel to the SC upstate would prove to be the perfect place to experience the wonder in the sky, despite the 6 1/2 hour drive home. Yep, it normally takes a little over two.
With the eclipse traveling over 2500 miles across American land in only 90 minutes (stretching from Oregon to South Carolina), it was important to be somewhere in the totality zone. Unsure of the perfect viewing spot, we worried we might miss it. It is science after all, but is it exact? Luckily, the heavens would prove to lean lovingly in our favor.
We headed downtown Greenville Sunday night (the night before) to check out our viewing possibilities.
I was emotionally stirred by the sight of the many visitors. They were all races, all genders, all religions, all ages, and all were connected by this impending force of nature which became their common bond. It was truly heartwarming. Children were skipping, couples were laughing, and people were friendly and gracious. The buzz of conversation was all about the grand event taking place on Monday.
Driving down main street, we witnessed droves of people cheering the street performers, window shopping, and strolling the crowded streets. Greenville has so much to offer, art, delicious food, and a bit of music on every corner.
A quick snapshot of a little street music…
Among the windows of impressive buildings, art and design were something to behold. Here I found a revolving sparkly sculpture…
We passed illuminated waterfalls, fountains, and sculptures until we reached our dinner destination, a rooftop restaurant, Ink N Ivy.
While enjoying my delicious dinner, I took in the breathtaking views of the city and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. I deeply inhaled the vibrancy of this city, not recalling a time when it’s streets were as bustling and joyous. Everyone was digging the warm vibes.
After a good night’s sleep and a sense of elation for the upcoming events, I woke with a renewed sense of optimism. Today provided a chance to escape the everyday news drama, connect with people from all walks of life, for a free nature show.
Duran Duran-New Moon On Monday
Returning to the downtown area around 1:15 pm, we found the parking to be tough due in part to a baseball game in progress. Despite our worry, we found a space and didn’t have to walk too far. It was a beautiful day, the sunshine and southern heat poured down on us as our anticipation built.
TV On The Radio-Staring At The Sun
I watched and worried as I witnessed people camped at every shady spot, giant cameras positioned toward the sky, and children wearing their protective eye glasses looking up at the sky, on almost every street corner. We rushed through the crowds to the Reedy River Falls, because it would provide open sky and a beautiful view, if the event was a bust. There were several clouds floating about.
After hearing the rumblings of oohs and ahhhs, I put on my glasses and immediately recognized the moon sliver of darkness penetrating the edges of the sun. The eclipse was really happening! The months and months of hype didn’t disappoint. Between stopping every few seconds and slipping on our glasses to witness the phenomena, we searched for a place to settle, people were everywhere!
As we reached the suspension bridge which crosses the river, I spotted a cool homemade contraption. It clearly showed the eclipse happening for those without special glasses. Created by a science teacher, he accompanied his creation with explanations for any who inquired. It was an entertaining public gift. When I asked him why, he simply answered, “I love science, and I have to share what I love!”
On the bridge we found a shady spot to rest, but it also had an easy access to an open area where we could pop on our glasses and look up at the sky. We watched as a flock of geese departed with a chorus of honks and a lovely great blue heron flew gracefully away. I wasn’t sure if they sensed a change in the environment, or simply didn’t find a spot to land.
Looking down from the bridge, I chuckled at the thought that almost every spot was a good viewing site and taken!
My incredible view…
I was also close enough to go back to the scientific contraption. I checked it often, and found it fascinating. In this video, it captured the clouds crossing in front of the eclipsed sun! So cool.
Moon Shadow-Cat Stevens
Then, I captured this clear view with the squiggly crescent shadows of a tree overhead. Those unusual shadows were everywhere. It was a captivating sight to watch the shadows change so dramatically.
Here I am in classic eclipse position!
The colors of the scenery began to fade, taking away the crispness and clearness of the summer day. The temperature cooled considerably and many onlookers began to shout and call out in excitement, as darkness crept in and the moon successfully covered the sun. Insects sounded, street lights turned on, and stars appeared. We even saw what we thought was Saturn reflected by the sun. Here is a bit of raw video…
Bonnie Tyler-Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Then totality occurred. Amazing!
As the sun returned, it was so compelling I was deep in thought and didn’t capture a photo of the sunrise colors, pinkish clouds, and the natural beauty of the light returning. I admit, I was a bit shaken and even had tears in my eyes as I absorbed this incredible moment. I had just witnessed a lifetime event, with thousands of new found friends. We were one, we were humans, all connected by our place on this planet. The breathtaking solar eclipse was a humbling experience, reminding me of how very small we are on Earth. I wondered about other life in our solar system or even those systems beyond ours. Are we taking care of our Earth, are we taking care of each other? When I gathered my composure, I took this picture.
The Animals-The House Of The Rising Sun
A kind fellow wandered along the bridge in the midst of the hubbub, and I had to buy a t-shirt to remember this historical event. He designed them with a friend and traveled all the way from Greensboro NC. Also, check out those crescent shadows underneath him.
People came from all over to delight in Monday’s celestial performance. I only captured a few, but saw many beautiful license plates as we worked are way back to our car. On our long drive home, I saw one as far away as Utah.
The 2017 eclipse was something to behold and an experience I will treasure for a lifetime. I am already hoping to witness another one. I have my glasses and I have hope I can seek out another spot in the totality zone. There is ample planning time, due to it occurring in 2024! Hope to see you there!
Paul McCartney-Good Day Sunshine
Here is the start of The Eclipse playlist for 2024, or just for fun listening and remembering your own adventure.