I’m the type of person who gets excited by pretty much anything. Sometimes its real excitement (I’m going to my first official wedding in October and I basically start hyperventilating every time I think about it), sometimes it’s forced (paying bills isn’t fun, but I pretend it’s fine because, yay, adulting!), and sometimes it’s an over-the-top explosion of emotion involving squealing, talking at an uncomfortable volume and jumping up and down. Seeing the Great American Eclipse of 2017 put me firmly into that last category.
For starters, I spent the weekend up in Ketchum with my family, a small percentage of cousins, aunts and uncles, family friends and of course amazing grandparents who made the whole time cozy and memorable.
By the time the eclipse rotated around (ha!) we had already seen Huey Lewis and the News perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion, brunched at family and town favorite Cristina’s, and enjoyed an amazing brats and salmon BBQ complete with games of bocci and cornhole. So the weekend was great no matter how you look at it.
And then came this wonder of astronomy, this spectacular rare event that caused people from all over the world to flock to various areas of the U.S. in order to see it, or capture it on film, or simply to experience it. The whole thing only took about 3 hours but now, a week later, it continues to dominate news stories and Instagram feeds.
For me, it was a life changing event. It was awesome to watch the light slowly change, to feel the temperature drop as the shadows around us turned into tiny crescent-shaped slits. The mounting anticipation as my dad called out the hours, then minutes, then seconds, until total eclipse. Hearing the whoops all over town as people pulled off their glasses to look at the moon as it blocked out the sun for 1 minute and 4 seconds, and joining in with those whoops when I teared up for a split second, as I always do when confronted with yugen and my own cosmic insignificance.
It was an exhilarating and strangely humbling experience. Watching the black disk cover that amazing and terrifying ball of fire, seeing Venus peek out from the darkness provided by that black disk, and knowing that I was a part of something bigger and more unifying than anything else I’d ever experienced; it was a very special feeling of connectedness with millions of other humans from all over the world, and one that I hope will continue to give me butterflies of excitement whenever I think about it.
(PS, I only took pictures with my phone, for some a-mazing shots of the eclipse check out Anne Cirillo Photography)