The total solar eclipse of 2017 has come and gone, and I’m still processing the experience on many levels.
First: I’m glad I went. It was an extraordinary roller-coaster, wild swings of emotion to both ends of the visible spectrum -- and perhaps a bit of infrared and ultraviolet moods as well.
Second: What I saw and what I didn’t see are a bit muddled up in my head right now. Carbondale was beset by a flashmob of rogue clouds at possibly the worst possible moment, but that made me pay attention to other things: The glow on the horizon and the rapidly coming and going of midday twilight. The shadow of the umbra sweeping eastward across the glowing clouds. The crackle of fireworks to the southeast. The roar of pure delight coming from the Southern Illinois University stadium about a mile south of my observation post. The rather puzzled pair of crows testing out the steps of their traditional evening dance, seven hours too early.
The corona did break through for a few precious and eerie seconds. I think that’s when I started jumping up and down maniacally in a parking lot just south of the Amtrak station, cheering at the top of my lungs.
I wish I could have seen more -- but I always want to see more. It was more important to just be there, and I was.