Our lives have become filled with negative things – ugly things we do our best to bury deep. Lately, it’s been hard. Take a look around Facebook. Or, even worse, Twitter.
But the eclipse, I would argue, changed it all. For one day, politics wasn’t the focus. Yes, we should all still care what President Trump says and does, but the distraction was – in a word – welcome.
Last week, I was scrambling to order glasses in time. My husband may be the scientist, but the eclipse offered something so rare, so human.
I craved a reason to look up.
So we packed the car, hyped the kids, and drove two hours to Neeses, South Carolina. A Piggly Wiggly offered the perfect spot for our viewing: bathrooms and plentiful parking.
But I found something under the unforgiving August sun that I didn’t expect. Every single person we encountered was happy to be alive – excited even.
Some offered us a better spot for viewing. Some shared their pinhole projections. And some simply asked where we were from.
I’m telling you, for the two hours we waited and watched, I saw a completely different America than the one I too often read about behind the screen.
Different races. Different beliefs. Different political affiliations. That eclipse equalized all of us. And we valued the life around us in a genuine way.
We’re all in this together.
My children loved the spectacle, and, I’ll admit, it was the most surreal moment I have ever encountered.
But, if I’m honest, I think it was the people who took a chance – on Piggly Wiggly, on threatening clouds, on unknown human interaction – that darkened the politics.
As I looked around one last time before our departure, I knew the pep rally for our commonness may be over – that we would soon re-enter the illuminated world that challenges.
But I felt encouraged.
And the token town resident thanked us one final time before we drove away.
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