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Yesterday was the first Monday where I have not gotten up to make my 8:30am radiation appointment. I could sleep in. I could eat breakfast when I wanted to. I could sip my coffee to my heart’s content. I was free to enjoy the morning as I saw fit, until I had to take my son to an appointment.
So why did I feel a twinge of sadness? Why would I miss beginning every day with getting zapped by radiation? I didn’t, really. What I missed was something deeper. I missed the intensity of emotion that pervaded my days this summer. There was a relentless focus on something beyond my control, something outside of my understanding, something that utterly absorbed my attention. Something like a solar eclipse.
For weeks leading up to yesterday, August 21, 2017, the buzz about the total solar eclipse has been all over social media, TV news, the radio, newspapers…everywhere. People have been madly trying to find protective eye glasses approved by NASA and to find a place to gather that will afford an unimpeded view. We have prayed harder for clear skies more than we have in years. There is an intensity and purpose to our plans. We are excited, because we know what is going to happen, but it is something we have never experienced. Because we don’t know what to expect, there is a tinge of fear, too.
It was indeed as amazing as we imagined. We saw our fellow eclipse watchers with their dorky glasses on (and hoped we looked cooler than they did). We saw the curve of the moon as it progressed slowly across the sun, like the thickening silhouette of a scimitar’s blade. We felt the supernatural stillness in the air and the eerie cast to the afternoon light. Now, it is the day after. The eclipse has passed, and like the day after Christmas, so has our excitement.
My personal “eclipse” is mostly over now as well. There was definitely stillness and darkness, but there was anticipation and intensity as well during this process. All of my focus was on lying on that radiation table, arms splayed above my head, waiting patiently for the radiology nurses to say “Hold your breath…OK, you can breathe!”
Now, it is definitely time to stop holding my breath. It is also time to not allow myself to return to my “normal routine,” to “business as usual.” This experience has shown me I am made of stronger stuff than I thought–God continues to remind me of that. “The God of Brilliant Lights” is truly shining down on us. That means you, B-Flat Christian.