Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The *total* eclipse in our backyard! Life-changing!

Photo credit Anthon Davenport!

You know when I haven't posted in years, that something must be pretty special to post about. ;) I'm just going to cut and paste my journal entry here, which, is also saying something since I can't remember the last year I ever wrote a journal entry!

August 21, 2017
Today was a day I will remember for the rest of my life, and I’m sure into the eternities! Today we witnessed a total solar eclipse, directly in the path of totality, and it was honestly the most miraculous thing I have experienced in my entire lifetime. I truly have no words to adequately describe its beauty and wonder, but here is what’s in my mind and heart.
Leading up to it, I was so excited! I had been hearing about it for more than a year, so I knew it had to be a pretty big deal! I researched what to expect, the exact timings, and what to be prepared for. We even went to a fascinating planetarium show specifically about what happens during an eclipse totality. But knowing and experiencing are two different things!
The city was quiet this weekend, but abuzz this morning. You could feel the excitement in the air, in every person’s face you passed. I kept “eeking” in excitement! How incredible to be able to be here! Now! For this! Quite literally in our backyard! Excitement kept gradually building and building. I loved experiencing it with a crowd and hearing everyone’s anticipation beforehand. The hour leading up to it we kept holding up our special glasses to check the progress. Closer, closer, closer, closer… oh my goodness… this is really going to happen!?!? And. then.—oh. my. heart! Oh, you should have seen it! You could hear the whole city of Rexburg *gasp* in amazement!!! I was immediately overcome! With such awe! Such joy! And *such* an overwhelming connection to mankind, the universe, our Creator, and my own soul.
I could not hold back the tears accompanying all these feelings! Even afterward telling friends and family about it over the phone, I couldn’t do it without getting choked up! And I also couldn’t do it without being partly speechless. It was literally impossible for me to describe with any amount of adequacy the sights and feelings of totality today. Experiences that touch the soul must be personally witnessed to truly know them!
I don’t want today to end! After witnessing the magic of totality this morning, my mind and heart were completely consumed with it today! I have thought of almost nothing else. I feel like it has been a dream, and I am afraid to wake up and forget!
I feel so fortunate to have had this eclipse come to us! So many people today were floored to learn that we lived just three houses down from the viewing park where we all were. Three houses! The path of totality quite literally came to us, and I am forever indebted and forever grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime experience that it presented to my family’s souls!

Other things I don’t want to forget!
We had a bake sale for the kids to be able to meet people and have another experience to remember the day by. We met people from everywhere! We even had a map for them to mark their home. Italy, France, Ireland, Spain, Taiwan! Maryland, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Washington, and Idaho! We *loved* talking to everyone from all over!
Before totality, we went on a quick walk down the street to find crescent shadows! Nothing like you have ever seen before!
Reese almost missed totality in the bathroom
Paige was being a butt, so we had her watching a show on our phone leading up to it so she wouldn’t be too disruptive; and then we were so in awe with totality that we forgot about her until toward the end, when thankfully I remembered and grabbed her to see it! Wouldn’t have been able to live that down. J
The lighting was soooo cool. It was not pitch black like I expected, but a filter-like, surreal twilight. In totality, there was a sunset all around!

During totality you could also see other planets! And to the left we saw some sort of galaxy! It was in the shape of an oval but only about ½ complete. So crazy! 
Once-in-a-lifetime experience!!!