Welcome to day five of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
My theme is Days of Our Lives. In my life, I have been fortunate enough to be able to view two total eclipses of the sun. I had to travel for both of them.
To see the first one, on March 7, 1970, I joined a bus of college students and a handful of senior high school students, on a trip from the Bronx (a borough of New York City) to Greenville, North Carolina, to the campus of East Carolina University. I took an astronomy course in my senior year and was fortunate to get one of the last spaces on the trip.
Somewhere in my house is a picture of me, dressed in bell bottom purple polyester pants, looking through a reflector telescope. The day was clear, and what happened in that eclipse will stay with me for the rest of my life. The burst of cold wind, the shadow that swept across the field where we were set up, the incredible silence, the feeling that you were just a small spec of dust in the view of the Universe. I am not a spiritual person, but I know that was the closest I have ever gotten to a spiritual experience.
On February 26, 1979, after a flight out to the West Coast and short visits to Seattle and Portland, my husband and I watched an early morning eclipse along a highway in rural Oregon.
And now, on August 21, 2017, there will be a rare eclipse - what is now being called the Great American Eclipse, because it will only touch the mainland United States.
Nearly everyone living on the mainland United States is within a days drive of being able to see this eclipse.
There are even websites devoted to the eclipse. A far cry from 1970 and 1979.
My son (who is in his mid 20's now) told me about the eclipse several years ago, and announced that he wanted to see it with us. Maybe not any more, but I hope we can somehow make this a family eclipse vacation. Already, his plans are deviating from ours, and it may not come to be.
But we will watch it almost at the same time, wherever we are. For us, "wherever" is looking like Columbia, South Carolina, a city I have visited once before.
It won't be one of the longer eclipses, but it won't matter.
I am in my 60's now, and I want, one more time, to feel that solar wind and see that shadow fly over the landscape one last time. I want to shiver in the solar wind once more. I want to feel like a tiny dust mote within the Universe.
I will be reminded once more that, like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives....