Eclipses and memory jars

I just learned that there would be a total solar eclipse that could be viewed across middle Tennessee about this time next year, August 21, 2017 at approximately 18:30. I began looking at cabin rentals in the path of the total eclipse, then I realized that where I live in Chattanooga would allow for 99.51% obscurity, and I think that’s close enough.

It reminds me of one of my great memories. Do you have those? Particular days or events that stand out at as pleasant, beautiful, worthy of documenting? In October of 2014, we rented a house with some other folks in Cape San Blas, Florida. Lots of people we knew were there camping or renting around there. One morning we got up at 5:00 to watch a lunar eclipse. People pulled camp chairs up just beyond the surf and watched as the blood moon disappeared. Everyone spoke in low tones. We rucked up the sand along the water line to admire the luminescence, and a man walked among us (a park ranger? a self-appointed scientist?) to explain why the moon appeared to be red, why the sand glowed, how to see the Milky Way, why this was the perfect place to watch it all happen.

Joe sat with Ben where the water could wash over their feet. No one complained of being bored. Mac, our friend’s son, had been learning about eclipses and told Joe what he knew. Joe told Mac’s father what an interesting, smart kid he was, which is true but not always apparent since Mac has some learning disabilities.

I don’t remember the rest of the day, and there were some real lows on that particular vacation, but those moments during the lunar eclipse were perfect.

Borrowing an idea I stole from a Facebook friend, this year I am capturing the good moments on slips on paper and putting them in a jar. I’ve invited my family to join me in this endeavor so that we can read them at the end of the year, but so far I am the only contributor. I am finding that many of the best days are when I am outside, usually with close friends. Not drinking, not going to a party, not spending a lot of money. Just being. Enjoying the sun on my shoulders, walking among rocks and trees.

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