A TOTAL Eclipse
Many months ago a friend of mine who lives in Champaign, IL told me there was going to be a total eclipse in her hometown of Carbondale, IL. I didn't put much attention into it in that moment, but what she was actually doing was planting a seed. On August 19th I took a plane to Chicago and then an Amtrak train to Champaign, IL.
My friend picked me up from the train station and we spent the next day preparing snacks and getting ready to leave in the middle of the night to drive down to Carbondale. Here is a photo of her dad's beat up old car with a massive canoe she rigged up to the top.
With two hours of sleep, my friend, her teenage daughter and I were on the road, trying to avoid eclipse traffic. We pulled into Cedar Lake parking lot at about 6 am. Packed the canoe with snacks and life jackets. One man called out, "Louis and Clark didn't need that much stuff, and you are only going out for the day!" I told him, "If Louis and Clark could have had Terra Potato Chips, chocolate, a bag of cherries and an awesome camera, they would have totally stuck it in their canoe!"
We paddled around for a while on the lake until we found the perfect spot to camp out at. We climbed up rocks to get to a spot where we had a clear view of the sun, and shade to cool ourselves in. Then nap time commenced.
When the eclipse began, we climbed back down to the lake and put on our life jackets so we could float effortlessly in the water, staring up at the sun with our eclipse glasses on. Damselflies circled around us and landed on our skin. The water was cool and warm, constantly giving our bodies exactly what we needed.
Before the eclipse reached totality, we climbed back up to the spot we had created to chill.
Shadows became intense. We were surrounded by trees and rocks, so we had a lot of natural shapes to look at.
As everything became dark, the cicadas began to chirp, chirp, chirp their night song. Besides that, there was a quiet I will never be able to express. As if everything ceased to breathe because we were in a bubble of air that did not need breath. I took off my glasses and stared up at the magnificence of a dark black circle surround by a bright light that was impossible to capture with my camera. Impossible to capture, impossible to explain. You just have to go see one for yourself.
Just before the totality ended, I felt this woosh of energy. It was so powerful that I fell to my knees. I could no longer hold up my camera, I could no longer do anything but surrender. And then the tears came. And the light began to shine again. It was the brightest light I have ever seen, and I looked down so as not to blind myself.
Everything began to breath again. The chirping stopped. A barred owl hoot hooted. None of us could speak for a while. We all went into separate nooks and just processed. For the first time I noticed these beautiful little purple flowers.
As we made our way back on the lake, I paddled in front of the canoe, looking out on where we were going. Everything was so calm. That calm was inside of me. I felt whole. I felt like me in my totality.
It took over seven hours to drive back to Champaign. There is nothing like a midwestern sunset. The corn was as high as an elephants eye. There is a charm to the midwest. The winters are harsh, the people are strong and hearty, because they have to live. But at the end of the day, everyone gets a little softer. Everything gets a little softer. And that is how I felt as we drove through farm country. Soft. Even my voice was soft.
I had about two hours of sleep in Champaign, and jumped back on a train up to Chicago for more adventures to come. When you feel yourself in totality, you know you cannot always be there, but because you know how it feels, you know you can always get back there.
I invite you to take the Clean Your Energy Class this September, or eventually, one day. It's all about being in that kind of center inside of you, and gives you tools and techniques to always be able to find your way home, wherever you are and no matter what you are going through. In a way, you are always whole, you just have to remember by FEELING it inside of you.