It’s not often that I come along and steal your attention, but I felt compelled. So I stole it in such a manner that whatever it was you were doing, was temporarily forgotten.
And there you were, on your little blue marble, with an ability to predict down to the second when, where, and how long I will occur at varying locations. The evolution of your science leading to such predictions is highly impressive.
I hope you saw something different as you looked through your viewing glasses. I hope you saw evidence that it’s the simplest things that give you pleasure, such as being caught in wonderment of the apparent live chemistry of my shadows. And while you cautiously stayed clear of letting your naked eyes view the intensity of my dangerous light, you were completely drawn to my primal and short-lived beauty. So many laborers around your country shared their welding masks for others to safely stare upward into the darkening daylight sky. Some things just can’t be passed up.
But I’m curious about something—your large corporations. Please tell me they stopped production to let your workers witness my presence. Please tell me they pulled the plug on their robots, conveyor belts, and assembly lines. For just a few minutes, is it possible they cared a little more about the alignment of two magnificent spheres in the sky and the lasting memories they would generate, and less about units sold per minute, and the revenue they would generate? Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.
I saw employees of small companies stepping outside. All of them exhibited the excitement of anticipation. There was clearly a difference in community between small and big businesses. Relationships in your smaller companies demonstrated a more cohesive atmosphere, whereas the larger a company’s workforce, then, exponentially, the greater was the disconnect between employees.
From my perspective, it was truly the relationships between your people that caught my attention. As you were looking at me, I was looking at you. And, oh, the wonderful things I saw. There was sharing, smiling, and, for many, the giddiness of witnessing something new. All it took was a darkened lens to look through, and millions of your people were suddenly united.
And to think that I had the ability to make an impact on people—that my infrequent occurrence touched lives. In particular, two people stood out most: A therapist and his client. It was a dire situation in which the client was suffering. His bloodshot eyes welled with despair. His life burdened with depression.
“Take hold of yourself, John,” said the therapist. “This will all pass. You just have to accept that, and let time do its healing.”
“But, I had no idea the fallout. I had no idea the repercussions,” John replied with his hands trembling as he then buried his face within them.
The therapist was without words. He had counseled as best he could. John’s rebound truly was at the mercy of time. But time did not always comply fast enough. Pain and suffering lingered in the tedium of time’s relentlessly slow pace. Especially in the dark insomniac hours of sleeplessness.
Dark, thought the therapist. Dark!
“John,” he said, looking at his watch. “We’re not too late!”
He stood up and helped John out of his seat. “Come with me. You need to see this.”
“Your remedy, John. Your remedy.”
As they made their way outside, the therapist grabbed two pairs of viewing glasses from a nearby table. “Here,” he said, handing one to John. “Put these on, then look up at the sun. I’ll do the same.”
Less than a minute later they were standing in a parking lot, looking at me in awe. And for the first time in who knows how long, a smile widened across John’s face. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “Absolutely beautiful.”
“Keep looking at it, John,” said the therapist. “Take it all in. Total eclipses are not only rare, but pass quickly.”
“It’s stunning,” said John. “This is just incredible. I’ve been so locked up inside my head lately…well, for quite some time, that I’ve lost touch with my surroundings. I had no idea the eclipse was coming. I’ve been buried in the dark.”
The therapist smiled. “It’s funny…the potential of darkness, and the effect it can have on us. Here we stand in its shadow as it steals our light, and we welcome it with unanimous approval.”
“I don’t know how to explain it,” said John, “But I do suddenly feel better. I feel lifted, if that makes any sense. Like I’ve gained some sort of clarity.”
“It makes all the sense in the world, John. Perfect sense.”
It wasn’t long after, as daylight returned and darkness faded, that my time came to an end. And in my parting minutes I had the privilege to watch John do something that I’m sure he never saw coming…
Holding onto that smile, he continued to look up at me. And in a moment of newfound clarity, he took a deep breath, and then silently mouthed the words, “Thank you.”
Copyright Ros Hill 2017