Why the solar eclipse was important
What would people do who lie in the path of totality?
First, an ethereal light surrounded us. Then just as quickly, it was as if someone gently turned down the color saturation as if we were all part of an old film. The air chilled and strangely the smell of dew filled the air. The hot August afternoon suddenly became reminiscent of a nostalgic early morning in September when dew dampened the children's school shoes while waiting for the bus. We inched closer and closer to darkness.
So what did those people do who were in the path of totality?
Like many times before, science proved itself. We knew where exactly to be and precisely what time. It happened just like the researchers predicted it. But it is the human element that is always the variable, the unknown.
It first got eerily quiet. Then as the moon ate away the last sliver of the sun, everyone cheered. They howled. They cried. For approximately two minutes, from Oregon to South Carolina, we forgot about our divides. Our differences. Our disputes. It was a fleeting spectacle, entirely new to most of us, but it still exhibited a strange familiarity of what we know our world can be. A place where we want to share the same beauty of the world with others that, we too, see. A place where vulnerability is welcome. Where walls are dropped, and preconceptions fall away and instead a child-look awe can be allowed to fill its place.
In the days ahead where we will undoubtedly be forced to face more injustices and differences across our society, perhaps we can summon those brief two minutes where we stood together. A short moment where the camaraderie was palpable and instead of pushing away, we gravitated towards one another.
Maybe we can remember that it was the day where, even briefly, we all looked up.
Malinda Meadows is an Ohio native who was letting grief blanket her life.
She found healing through traveling and nature. She discovered changes of location led to changes in her mindset. It helped her process grief and forge a new path with greater optimism and happiness. Realizing the benefit of deliberate change, she now leads a more balanced and mindful life inspired by simple changes.
She blogs regularly at malindainthesnow.com to help others find change, however small, outside their box in order to live a happier, healthier life.