“Ecplisiology,” I murmured, not really to any particular member of our backyard viewing crew. “That’s pretty good,” my husband said, “did you just come up with that?” “Yes, and I’m not quite sure what I mean.” 

I did not make the trek to experience totality last week, and I feel some combination of regret and “maybe wouldn’t have been all THAT.”

Perhaps if I had experienced totality, I would get more of the awe aspect that many accounts describe. Maybe if I had been at Niagara Falls with thousands of other people, I would viscerally understand the part-of-a-mass-human-experience energy. Or maybe if I had made a pilgrimage, covering miles and making a huge effort to be in a position to receive whatever blessing totality had to offer, I might feel more significantly impacted.

As it was, I sat in my backyard with one of my kids, a friend, my husband, and a couple of dogs. We chatted, periodically checking in on the progress toward our 93%. The rest of the time we just enjoyed the early spring warmth in the air and appreciated the eclipse’s prompt to take a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon.

At 93%, I was struck by how much impact just 7% of the sun–really just a little sliver – had. It got a little darker, but not much. Maybe a little colder, but not much. “Wow,” I said, “check out the power of just a tiny little bit of the sun.”

When we talk about feeling a part of something bigger, it is usually in these BIG, AWE-INSPIRING ways. And that’s awe-some. But really whenever we connect even to just one something outside of ourselves, we become a part of something bigger and may feel a little less separate; even a little sliver of connection can brighten a day and warm a body. 

I now understand a bit more about what my made-up word, “eclipsiology” was getting at. There is a quieter, more subtle, and no less grace-filled everyday kind of thing we all have a chance to participate in and contribute to and the difference it makes is awesome.

xo Jill
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