Thursday, August 24, 2017

There's Nothing Like an Eclipse to Bring People Together

A few weeks ago, one of my relatives (who lives in Oregon) mentioned to me that on August 21, there was going to be an eclipse. Apparently, tons of people were even planning to visit Oregon just for this eclipse. Well, I pretty much live in a hobbit hole and hadn't heard of the eclipse until that point, so I started surfing the internet and listening around town. And, lo and behold, there was lots of discussion about the eclipse. So much discussion, in fact, that I started thinking of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Thankfully, other people had similar thoughts, and eclipse memes started hitting social media. Buzzfeed even talked about it! 

In all honesty, though, I thought the eclipse had too much hype. Maybe I was jaded by the fact that eclipse glasses had a going rate of $40+ in some places (though other people were really trying to make a big profit). All the same, I ate my lunch on Monday in front of the computer screen as I eagerly watched NASA's livestream of the eclipse in areas with complete totality. And it was pretty epic. Seriously epic. We have an amazing God who created such incredible beauty! 

But, while the eclipse was really cool, what I liked even more is how it brought people together. At the library on Monday morning, everybody had a conversation topic to discuss (that didn't revolve around  our kids!!!), and instead of awkwardly trying to break the ice with another mom I hadn't seen before, it was nice to have a ready question of, "So, eclipse day! What do you think?" 

In the early afternoon, I sauntered outside to experience the partial eclipse from our front yard. I was too lazy to make a pinhole viewer, and I wasn't planning to look at it with my naked eye, but I just wanted to be outside and experience if it cooled down or got darker (it did cool down noticeably, and it got a little darker but not quite as dark as I had been expecting). Several minutes passed, and all of a sudden, one of my neighbors walked over, introduced himself, and let us use his indirect methods of viewing the eclipse (pinhole viewer, colander, and binoculars + paper). A few minutes after that, one of my neighbors-who I hadn't met yet because she's always coming and going-came outside with her daughter, and I wound up talking with them for several minutes. That evening, as I grocery shopped, the eclipse continued to come in handy as I made conversation with the store employees I came across. 

I think it's really cool to see how in the midst of division and brokenness in our country, countless people still came together and united during the solar eclipse of 2017. I think it's beautiful that people came together in this shared experience, and it makes me hope that perhaps we can all find more of common ground through which we can bond. Yes, people bond in times of tragedy-and it's good and important that we do this-but coming together to rejoice and celebrate in something is really cool. 

Well, it looks like August 30th is National Toasted Marshmallow Day; maybe we could all joyfully bond together over some s'mores? 

1 comment:

  1. Love it! We had a similar experience. And yes to all the s'mores!