When I came into work this morning there was an old news article sitting on the table. “Eclipse plays peek-a-boo” written by Times staff reporters on February 26th, 1979. The day the last solar eclipse took place in North America. 38 years ago.
My boss brought this in and said it was an article from the paper her family got when she was a kid. She remembered exactly where she was and what she was doing the day of the last eclipse. She told me the story as if she was watching it unfold herself all over again. She will be in her 80s when one of the next eclipse happens in the US, and she remembers thinking 38 years ago that that sounded so old and wondered if she would even be alive to see it that many times. As I was sitting at my desk listening to her ponder in her memories, I couldn’t help thinking about me.
Where will I be the next time the eclipse happens? Will I be married? Have kids? Be an author? Reporter? Actress? Will I still be living in Colorado? Wyoming? Australia? The skies the limit, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.
No matter where I am or who I am the next time I see the eclipse, I want to be able to look back and remember where I was and who I am today. August 21st, 2017.
So, here I am. 20 years old, heading into what is hopefully my last year of college at UW. Sitting at my desk at Peace With Christ Christ Christian Church working on my internship. I leave back for Laramie in 2 days to move into my new apartment with my new roommates, Ashton and Jory, and I can’t help but feel bummed as I know I am not in Wyoming on this historic day of the eclipse. The path of totality crosses through Casper, and even in towns like Laramie and Cheyenne they will see a magnificent show. I have my special glasses sitting here next to me that I stood in line for at Grease Monkey praying they wouldn’t run out before I got to the front. At the time of the eclipse passing by I will go outside with the kids and witness history. I never want to forget this day. I want to be able to look back at this exact moment and see how far I have come.
I saw an ABC News clip from 38 years ago regarding the events of today. The anchor said something that has stuck with me, and that I can only wish for, for the next time the eclipse happens in the US.
“So that’s it, the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century, and, as I said, not until August 21st, 2017 will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world of peace.”
Unfortunately, this time around, the shadow of the moon is not falling on a world of peace. How you deem the current world is up to the individual, but today, August 21st, 2017, the world is far from at peace. We did not live up to the hopes and expectations of 1979.
After today, the next solar eclipse visible from the US will be just 7 years away on April 8th, 2024. Though not as long of a wait, a lot will change in those 7 years. And on that day, 7 years from now, April 8th, 2024, “may the shadow of the moon [finally] fall on a world of peace”.
The peak of the eclipse has now passed and our lives may resume to normality. The event itself was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I sat outside of the building on the grass by myself and watched the show. Every once and a while a teacher would come out and take a peak. It didn’t get as dark as I thought it would, but the environment definitely looked different. Creepy in a way. Not dark like in the evening time right before the sun sets, but dark in an eery way. Even sitting in my office the light seems creepily strange. Not totally dark, but a different kind of dim. The most dramatic change I noticed was the temperature. I sat outside for about 20-25 minutes and I noticed a huge drop in temperature. The air felt cooler in a blink of an eye and that’s when I knew it was at it’s peak. I thought I may go enjoy the event with the kids at the school but instead I chose to watch on my own. To reflect and remember by myself. The next time we see this, who knows where I will be and what I will be doing. I just hope that I can look back on this day and be able to say, “I was there. I took it all in”.