Total Eclipse of the Heart

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Today will live in my mind forever.  I had not really been too excited about the eclipse at all before today.  Tons of people flowing into the Charleston area to get a look at something that did not seem like a big deal to me.  I almost thought about “blowing it off” but I woke up this morning and decided this was history in the making.  I had to go.  It would be the last one I would ever see in my lifetime.  It is hard being a party of one.  I give myself a pep talk about getting out and doing things on my own.  I can do it.  I need to get out and enjoy life more often because I live in a beautiful place.

I decided if I was going to go see this magnificent sight I needed to go where my heart always leads me – the ocean.  I am a sucker for the ocean.  I feel it is the closest place to God for me – even closer than church.  Weird I know but the beauty of this creation is one none other can compare – except the birth of a newborn baby which over rules them all because it is giving life.  The ocean comes in as number two.  Dressed and ready to go I headed to Downtown Charleston.  I always have to plan in advance about where I will park and what I will do when I get there.  Safety is always on my mind.  I wanted to enjoy this event and not wish I had stayed home.

I always pray before I go anywhere by myself and this day would be no different.  Dear God, please help me to be safe.  Help me to find the safest place to park.  Help me to find the right place to sit when I get there.  Help me to feel blessed about this amazing experience.  I parked in a parking garage I had never parked in before.  I wanted to be as close to The Battery as possible so I would not have to walk too far.  This prayer was answered.  It was only two blocks away.  I walked a bit to find the right spot.  I settled on the pier at The Battery on the Port side. Walked up to a husband and wife from Pennsylvania who had an empty bench side I could sit.  The husband, Ray, was standing getting his tripod camera ready for the big moment while his wife, Rachelle, worked on her cell phone.  I asked to share their bench and Rachelle kindly smiled and welcomed me.  This was another prayer answered.  We chatted a bit and Rachelle told me she was a scientist and worked in Washington, DC.  They had driven up for a few days to experience the eclipse.  With family members scattered all down the eclipse path, she was constantly getting texts and pictures of what was happening from family members as we waited for our turn.

As I sat beside my new Pennsylvania friends, I started to hear the sound of a voice I adore.  This accent was one I knew had to be from the United Kingdom.  I glanced over to find the lady who had this amazing sound.  Her name was Jill Paveley.  She was a tall pretty lady with short blonde hair sitting with her friends.  As the time passed we eventually spoke and I learned Jill and her friend were in Charleston with their friends from North Carolina – by way of New York – Jean and Aaron Smith.  As I talked with them, I actually felt like the couple from North Carolina was sort of like family members. When you live in the Carolinas, there is a kindred bond between the two states and we see each other as one state sometimes.  They asked me to capture the moment of them enjoying the eclipse and I was more than happy to do so.  I know one day they will look back and be proud of this experience they shared together while laughing at how silly we all felt in those eclipse glasses which made us feel like we were watching the earth in 3D and I guess we were!  It really was fabulous!

When the time arrived, people started to cheer.  I let out a scream myself to be able to release the emotion I was feeling.  Screams turned to tears as I looked like a star struck child at God’s amazing artwork.  The sky was black but the circle around the sun from the moon was beautiful.  Rachelle told me the beam around the sun was called the ring of fire.  I could see the glow even through the clouds and I could feel God was there with me.  I know it sounds crazy but I sort of feel like I could see his face.  Not the face we know as Jesus but the thought of his face in the Heavens or maybe it was just the feeling of his spirit.  I’m not really sure if that makes sense at all.  It doesn’t make sense to me either.  I thanked him for his love and grace and for always being there with me even in my hardest times.  I felt overwhelmed and humbled.  I was not expecting the rush of emotions I felt.  I heard a lot of people on the pier talking about crying and having emotions from it also.  This gave me comfort as a confirmation my experience was not unusual.  I am so glad I went.  I am so glad I made myself experience a once in a lifetime event I will never see again.  I am so thankful for God’s love.  I had a wonderful day with wonderful new friends.  I am blessed.  I hope you were blessed to see the Total Eclipse too.  It was a total eclipse of my heart.  One I will always treasure.

The pictures below are of my experience today. Be Blessed!

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