Like many of you, I anticipated the solar eclipse for weeks. I didn’t drive into the Path of Totality, and I procrastinated too much to acquire glasses, but we did make a few cereal box viewers. I thought we were ready.
And then as the day got closer, I began looking at the weather forecast on a bit of a lark, never dreaming it’d be cloudy and rainy, and low and behold, when I checked on Saturday, it was scheduled to rain for the first half of the day. Great, I thought. So much for being a part of the biggest astronomical event of the decade! As the hours went by, and I checked again on Sunday, rain was no longer in the forecast, but it was still supposed to be mostly cloudy. (Or is it partly sunny? I’m never sure what those little icons are supposed to mean.)
On Monday morning, Paul Konrad from WGN was not at all optimistic that we’d get to see anything at all, which had be a bit worried. I thought, well, at least the TV coverage should be good. Since the Path of Totality crossed the entire continent, that should mean that we will have some pictures from somewhere, even if we can’t see much from Illinois. Right?
But then, miracle upon miracles, and actually because of the cloud cover I had been cursing, I was able to see the crescent sun, if just for a couple of seconds, through the clouds. The clouds I was praying would move out of the way actually became a pair of eclipse glasses for a moment, showing that incredible sight.
How many other things do we assume are going to rain on our parades, (or cloud over our eclipses) but turn out actually help us? Often times, we think we’ve got it all figured out. That thing we think is going to be good, or bad, will turn out to be just that way. But what if we could leave open the possibility to be surprised? What if something which is wrapped in disappointment actually turns out to be a blessing?
Even if the clouds don’t become the perfect eclipse filter for you, nurturing the fear of missing out just isn’t helpful. The world is just too vast for us to experience everything. All of us will miss out on something for some reason or another, usually a reason which is out of our control. So if or when that happens for you, you can always live vicariously through Tom Skilling. Watching him watch the total eclipse will just make you happy.
Grace and peace,