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The Sun, the Moon, and the Snowmen

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller



Reading duration: 7 min. 45 secs.

I went to see the eclipse yesterday. There has been so much written about its significance: the effects will be mysterious; it’s a rare occurrence; a must-see experience; a moment when everything stops, the animals go quiet and the temperatures drop as the world around you goes dark.

It was most, but not all, of these things … and more. The mallards didn’t stop. The males continued their spring-time pursuit overhead of a lone female. Around and around in large arcing circles they flew. And, yes, it did get colder and we did experience something profound.

In the days and months leading up to it, I was intrigued and excited. What would it “really” be like?

We wanted to experience the longest totality possible, when the Sun would be completely covered by the Moon. I was also hoping to experience the powerful presence within the Moon’s shadow, and the energies of the Sun, Moon and Earth merging.

This was a solar eclipse, an eclipse that happens at the New Moon, when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow, or as others have stated, “blocks out the Sun.” A powerful moment indeed! And it was happening, essentially in my backyard.

Photo Credit - Jonne Trees

We were blessed with clear blue skies, a place to park the truck and a friendly spruce tree whose shadow we could nestle into when we felt we needed respite from the intense sunlight. Being early April, it wasn’t top of mind to pack sunblock, but in hindsight it all worked out because we found a tree instead. This was to be one of my lifelines that helped me stay connected to wild Nature while swept up in the cacophony of human exuberance. The true presence of the trees wouldn’t make themselves known to me until the end. But I digress.

The time of the eclipse is sacred.

In order to honor and respect the sacredness of the eclipse I will refrain from sharing my personal experience with the numinous. Each one of us, whether we saw the totality, partial or no eclipse at all, will be effected by this powerful and rare event, and it’s for us as individuals to take the journey of understanding its presence in our lives, to respect it and be attuned to its influences. I encourage you to do this in whatever way resonates with you.

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller

What I want to write about here is something that I find is still lingering in me after yesterday’s powerful experience. Something that seems to be affecting my life, not in a bad way, but rather in a curious way, the way lived experiences bring texture, depth, and a quality of tone and color to your life that makes your life uniquely your’s.

This eclipse experience provided an interesting view into the current energetic expression of humanity.

In my life I spend most of my time with wild Nature, and the people I see on a daily basis number in the single digits to maybe 100 max … not in the 1000s and certainly not the 100s of 1000s like the numbers that were siphoned along the small country roads of rural Maine by some mysterious magical force, seeking out the perfect place to view this cosmic event. No, this was definitely new. The number of people that came out to view the eclipse was immense. The last time I was a part of such a mass gathering was when I celebrated New Year’s Eve with a million other people in Times Square in 2001. Although that differed in many ways, both experiences plunged me into the sea of humanity in all its color and diversity.

This time was different in one key way.

This time I felt the throngs of people created a human shield between the landscape and me. Despite this I embraced the moment, felt gratitude for the experience and made choices that supported my health and wellbeing. I tuned into the lake, the miles-wide expanse of snow-covered ice, sparkling and bright. Sitting quietly, I spotted a bald eagle soaring overhead. I looked out towards the western mountains knowing that every inch of road through spruce and birch forest was lined bumper to bumper with cars, trucks and campers.

Everyone was kind, excited, and doing their “thing.” A young woman nearby was working on embroidery while laughing with her friends. Others were setting up their “gear.” As one man stated, “These kinds of events bring out the expensive camera gear.” And there were dogs, lots and lots of dogs. Chinese students from Bates College; elderly women making their way slowly along the sidewalk to their chosen seating spot, all smiles and relaxed, holding no sense of urgency. Girl Scouts offering cookies; kids playing out on the ice; and conversations about how orange soda is so much better in India. Humanity was in full swing! Me? I sat quietly in the sheltered shadow of the spruce tree taking it all in awaiting the Moon.

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller

With bare feet on the grass, I grounded myself. Despite the snow and ice, the ground felt warm. The springtime energies were strong enough now that any last gasp of a snow storm was short-lived. We, along with a few hundred others, found a welcome stretch along the lake’s edge that belonged to a local church. People filled the patches of dry(ish!) grass between mud and snow with their chairs and blankets. The atmosphere radiated acceptance and peace. A far cry from setting ourselves up in the back of the truck alongside the road somewhere. To be honest though, that would have been good, too.

The magical experience that unfolded was truly a communal one.

We all looked out for one another: sharing the count down until partial started; making sure someone's 5-year-old child was wearing eclipse glasses and not sunglasses; sharing details of what to expect, and then what we saw once the sunlight reappeared. I appreciated witnessing this supportive coming together of such a diverse group of people.

Although I hadn’t trudged through the snow to find a place of solitude in the woods as I had originally planned, I still had a powerful experience as the light started to shift and THE alignment of all alignments manifested before our very eyes. I don’t think any amount of preparation, or of reading other’s accounts, would have stolen the moment from me. It was extraordinary!

With one child’s small snowman keeping us company, we stayed until the very end.

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller

Of the hundreds of people that shared that patch of earth between the church and the lake, we were the last to leave. This I found to be a very special moment. The snowman encapsulated the joy of the experience, but it was something more unexpected than seeing a lone snowman that touched me. I decided in the peace and quiet of the moment to reach out to the spruce tree in whose shadow we had positioned ourselves to offer my thanks. I turned and faced the other trees as well: the 2 birches, the oak and row of maples, and offered them my gratitude, too. To some people this may seem a strange thing to do, but to me it’s normal and a powerful way to build community.

Communities of nonhumans witness our humanity daily, and they often bring us the support and nourishment we need when people can’t or don’t. It was true for me yesterday. In the shadow of that spruce tree I felt in community with the natural world. I was joining in with my fellow humans sharing this magical experience, but it was when all the people had gone that I felt the community of nature had been right with us all along.

Traffic! Lots and lots of traffic! 

We weren’t in a rush to get home, so decided to drive to a gorgeous overlook called Height of the Land to see the sunset. It felt like a respectful and appropriate thing to do to connect with and honor the Sun and Moon as they set over the western horizon. A way to bring closure so-to-speak, as well as give the traffic time to diminish. As we drove along the snow-lined roads the only sign that 100s … 1000s of people had been there were their foot prints in the snow and the snowmen that dotted the roadside. It turned out that many other people were building snowmen, too! How fabulous! What a truly heartwarming sight – keepers of joy created out of snow, memories of what to many will be forever a moment when we could see beyond the Beyond. Snowmen, tokens of eclipse magic, escorted us home last night. What a wonderful way to end an amazing day!

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller

This solar eclipse in the sign of Aries is all about rebirth on an individual level.

For many it’s no surprise that we as a species and the planet and all life dwelling within Her are evolving. This has been happening for a while. The energies are picking up speed in a major way now. The energies of this solar eclipse will be influencing us all individually for weeks, and even months, to come.

These snowmen are not only created out of snow, but are equally formed from people’s joy in coming together to experience something they know will be extraordinary. They are people’s response to this magical moment in time, and it was THIS that spoke to our hearts as we drove along the road through these wild places high up in the mountains. A beautiful expression of people, place and time.

How will these powerful eclipse energies shape you?

Like these snowmen molded out of the natural elements of place and time, embodying all the transformational energies of the eclipse, perhaps our lives will become expressions of joy and eclipse magic, too. I certainly hope so!

Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller


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