For the last month or so, I have been waiting for today: August 21st—the day of the eclipse. I had actually never seen an eclipse (of any proportion) before, so I ended up catching eclipse fever like a good majority of the nation. After all, it wasn’t just any eclipse, but the eclipse of a lifetime. In preparation for the “big day”, I schooled myself on the exact path of totality. Fortunately for me, I found out that I lived fairly close to the path of totality and would have 89-92% maximum coverage.
However, I was just far enough away to not want to make the necessary 6 hour drive to view the full eclipse in all its glory. I also set an alarm to ensure I wouldn’t forget to head outside and gawk at the sky. As a final step, I ignorantly decided to blatantly ignore all media warnings against looking at the eclipse sans proper eyewear (do not try this at home). Check, check and check. After that, all there was left to do was wait several weeks.
Fast forward to today. The eclipse was supposed to reach maximum coverage in my town at a few minutes past 1. By 12:30, the sun could barely be seen as I looked out the window. Thunder was rumbling and thick clouds were quickly rolling in, so I figured the rain would start pouring down, washing my eclipse viewing dreams right down the gutter. I nervously waited and watched the darkening sky until my alarm went off. Grabbing my camera and extra lens, I went outside, sat down and prayed for the clouds to disperse.
Time went on, but the sky simply darkened, wiping out any sign of the sun. To make matters worse, it had started to sprinkle and the air was grossly humid. However, something in my spirit told me not to give up on seeing the eclipse, so I continued to sit and wait. I busied myself by taking random photos of birds that flew overhead. All of a sudden, I felt the slightest bit of warmth hit my face. It was the sun! I quickly pointed my lens to the sky and started snapping like a madwoman.
There, smack dab in the middle of a small circular break in the clouds, was the distinct glowing crescent made by the partial eclipse. After capturing a few distant images, I changed lenses and ended up with some of the most enigmatic photos I’ve ever taken.
Though I would have loved to be able to see the full eclipse and photograph its corona, I was ecstatic to be able to see anything at all. As dark and dismal as it was outside, it was as though the clouds had parted just for me to take the photos I had so desperately wanted.
Hands down, this shot is my favorite out of all the ones I took. It was the only photo that captured the moon’s complete outline. I just love it! The clouds only broke for 15 minutes before obscuring the sun and moon again, but I appreciated the opportunity to enjoy it for as long as I did. I wish I was a better photographer and had nicer equipment, but I’m so very grateful that I was able to accomplish what I wanted to in the end.
For me, today’s eclipse encounter served as a small, but efficient and much needed reminder to never, ever give up—even when things look unfavorable and all hope seems lost. When I initially saw the bad weather, I came so close to staying inside and forgetting all about the eclipse. Had I gotten discouraged and failed to even try, I would have missed out on the cool experience and I never taken these photos. Now I will have them to look back on and remember my first eclipse.
If anyone reading this finds themselves to be even the slightest bit discouraged or close to giving up on something they’ve been wanting to achieve…keep the faith and never give up. I don’t care if you want to do something huge like get into medical school or just ask someone out for a coffee date. Big or small, it pays to take chances in the face of uncertainty and doubt.
If it’s in your heart, then it matters.
If you actually fear failure and/or the pain of not achieving something, take it as a huge sign from the universe that it is something worth fighting for.
Never underestimate the power of sheer determination. Regardless of our varying degrees of talent, skill, intelligence, wealth and social connections…we are fundamentally all equal.
We are mankind.
While some things are achieved by luck and individual circumstance, not everything in this world works this way. Sometimes the only difference between winning and losing is how much heart you have.
Remember: Whether you think you can or can’t…you are absolutely right.
So what are you waiting for? Get to it. And even if no one else is, I’m rootin’ for ya ❤
P.S. I looked directly at the eclipse…several times. I didn’t have the funny eclipse glasses I was supposed to have. It was freakin’ bright, but I didn’t go blind.
Is it normal to see stars and random flashes of light?