Sadly, last weekend’s eclipse was not visible while hiking, due to cloud cover, but there was a noticeable darkening of sky and forest. While walking this trail a lovely waterfall appeared, brightening the darkening day with a glinting trickle.
Walking in a natural setting can be a sure-fire way of rebooting one’s humanness. Sorting out life seems easier in nature. Plants and animals have relatively simple purposes; understanding meaning can be straightforward.
Gertrude Stein wrote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” In nature, one can see a tree is a tree is a tree. When events around the world spiral out of cultural norms, it’s sometimes helpful to meditate in front of a waterfall under the partially blocked light of the sun, sensing and connecting to that which is present. A moment in time, never to return; just there long enough to notice.
Fun facts: There were four eclipses in 2023; two lunar and two solar. The eclipse on Oct. 14 was an annular solar eclipse—annular meaning “ring-shaped,” not annual. There are four kinds of solar eclipses: total, annular, partial and hybrid. Eclipse types depend on the moon’s shadow being umbra, penumbra or antumbra. Annular eclipses occur when the moon is farthest away, smaller in appearance and only able to block out a portion of the sun, leaving a ring of fire around the moon. The darkest eclipse is a total eclipse, next to be seen in the Americas on April 8, 2024.