Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of My Heart is on our family road-trip Jammy Jam’s mix, and we all belt it out at the top of our collective voices whenever we hear it. Such a fabulous example of an 80’s rock ballad – an epic song, sung without irony. The music video is even better, because it’s so damned big (and so damned goofy, without any self-awareness about the goofiness inherent in the song or video). At any rate, we love it here in the Squilombard family, and now we can say that we’ve seen a total eclipse of the sun, as well.
For a while, I thought that the 99.4% totality we’d experience here was going to be just fine. Stefan was convinced that it needed to be 100% or nothing, and I’m super glad I listened to him, for once. We woke up at 5am, packed oodles of food, rolled the girls out of bed, and hit the road. Our drive was beautiful, as we took all back roads, meandering our way to eclipse totality. We weren’t sure where exactly we were going to go, but when we stopped at the Safeway in Molalla to use the restroom, and saw that there was a grassy-ish field right next door, we decided to set up.
We had a blanket, and chairs, and food, and books, and knitting. Safeway gave each of the kiddos a bubble wand and had employees walking around giving out free waters. Everyone was looking happily at the sky, each group in their own little world. We all had our eclipse glasses on, and for the hour the moon was slowly eating the sun, our family unit took turns gazing at the sun and running around, blowing bubbles, leaping over weeds, snacking, snuggling.
Totality itself was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. For almost a minute, we took off our eclipse glasses and just looked at the sun, tears streaming down many of our faces. It was beautiful, and immense, and so so touching. We all forgot about the ten thousand terrible things our president has done this past week (and month and year), and just let ourselves drink in the enormity of our universe, and the minuteness of our place in it. We didn’t try to take photos, just held hands and experienced it. I mean, seriously, wow.