Light Returns to the World

August 23, 2017

Photo by laura skinner on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I had to confine my solar eclipse viewing on Monday to NASA live-streaming since I procrastinated on getting eclipse glasses until it was too late. Even so, what an amazing event! I got goosebumps watching the sun reappear after being hidden by the moon.

In honor of Monday’s eclipse, here is a passage from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves that beautifully describes the reappearance of light:

“How then does light return to the world after the eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gradually the fields drink in red, gold, brown. Suddenly a river snatches a blue light. The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself; hangs pendent; settles and swings beneath our feet.”

We can choose to use an event like an eclipse as a marker between one time and another if we’d like to make a new start or shake things up. Or it can simply be an awe-inspiring natural event that adds a little excitement to our ordinary days. One more everyday adventure for the remembering self.

Did you watch the eclipse?

One more thing—at the post office yesterday, I bought these cool stamps. They use heat-sensitive ink to mimic an eclipse:

Isn’t that cool?

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  1. Dear Kathy I was able to borrow glasses from a friend at work and we enjoyed viewing this spectacular event. How awesome. Virginia Woolf did a great job with her words regarding the an eclipse. Have a great day. Hugs!

    1. Nice that you were able to share glasses and get to see the real thing. I thought Ms. Woolf's description was not only accurate, but beautiful.

  2. I was also lucky enough to share glasses with some other people. It was really amazing and beautiful. I wasn't in the totality zone, but seeing the sliver was quite awe-inspiring.

    1. Great that you were able to share--was it hard resisting looking up at the sun while you weren't wearing the glasses? I found it hard not to look up while I was outside looking for the cool eclipse shadows everyone except me seems to have seen!