That morning I was anxious to get going. The traffic was nuts. Would I have time to get to a good place? Would I drive too far? Not far enough? Clouds were predicted over much of the southeast, but Asheville wasn’t in the path at all so I’d have to drive elsewhere, no matter what.
I’d known about it for a good three and a half decades and I had to be there. But the clouds…. All those years I’d dreamed about it I hadn’t put much thought into cloudy skies. It rains a lot here in the southeast U.S. during the summer and the forecast wasn’t good.
That whole ‘bucket list’ thing you hear about is sort of obnoxious to me. I don’t look at things as something I’ve got to do before I die. I just want to do stuff! See stuff. Learn stuff. I’ve always, always wanted to see a total solar eclipse. Always. If I missed this because of clouds, honestly, it would have been heartbreaking.
But I saw it. I got to see it.
Did I get a good picture of it?
Do I care?
It was never about getting a picture of it. It was always about seeing it for myself. With my own eyes. And it was magnificent.
But there was something I did capture which I didn’t even know about until I downloaded the pictures onto my computer. I had quite inadvertently hit the video button on my camera right after totality. There was a young man from Ohio (O-H…!) also watching the eclipse and the video captured my / our reaction to it. We had talked about the unusual colors in the landscape during totality and then he asked me if I’d got a picture of the eclipse. I told him I didn’t think so. Here’s the rest of my response:
I’m so glad I caught that moment. What I was talking about in the video was the fact that immediately after totality, the tiniest little speck of sun was shining through (of course I was still wearing my eclipse glasses while looking at it) but it was amazing how bright everything was. Just like a normal day. I mean, the sun was still almost completely eclipsed, but you’d never know it. Amazing. There are bazillions of pictures on the internet of total solar eclipses. Mine wouldn’t have been any different or better so I really couldn’t care less about not getting a picture. But seeing the total eclipse for myself was so special to me. I could barely stop crying.
Oh, and when I got back in my rental car, the radio was playing the last bit of Dark Side of the Moon, then went on to play Here Comes the Sun. (:
Well, I’m going to be traveling soon, so this blog will be up and running again after almost 2 years. I’ve been working at a regular 8 to 5 job and saving, saving, saving for travel. It was a fun job – exhausting, but fun – and I got to know some wonderful people. But, now it’s time to get on the road again. My itchy feet have just got to get going. I have a different focus for traveling and for blogging now than I’ve had in the past. I started it as a way to keep friends and family in the loop as to what this particular nomad was up to. But now, I don’t know. I may write a bit less but still share pictures. I do like sharing my pictures. I guess I’ll find out once I get going.
Maybe the best way to say it is that I intend not so much to travel as to wander. I don’t intend to see the famous sights just because I happen to be in the vicinity or try to get as many stamps in my passport book as possible. That’s not my interest. Never was, really. I just want to vagabond. I’m sure that word isn’t a verb, but that’s how I’m using it.
I’ve always wanted to see the southern night sky. Different hemisphere – different night sky. I love astronomy, as you might guess, so I’m heading to South America – Buenos Aires, Argentina first. I’ll be taking a class at a Spanish language school there for a month. I hope to get a decent grasp of the language so I can get around, talk with people – you know, all the obvious reasons for wanting to learn a language.
I’ve contributed to the Nature Conservancy to offset my carbon footprint. In fact, I’m thinking I’ll contribute more because I’ll be taking buses, etc. while I’m in South America and really, it’s not very expensive to offset carbon. Well worth doing, in my view.
I’ve whittled down what I’m bringing to fit into a fairly small-ish backpack. I don’t want to lug around a lot. So, I’m pretty much good to go.
Just a couple more days of work and then I’m off. Yay!