Celebrating the Best of Nature…
and Humanity:
2017 Solar Eclipse Notes


Nature is a miracle, and an every day gift to be treasured. Today — nature gave us an amazing demonstration of this miracle. Not only was the solar eclipse an incredible natural phenomenon to witness, but the event also highlighted kindness and sharing — and peace — among neighbors, who were all focused on witnessing something ever-so-nifty, and who chose to do so “in community” with others — both known and unknown before today.
Here is how my afternoon went…
After not being able to secure any “safe to watch the eclipse- glasses,” Christopher Dobbins and I each donned multiple pairs of sunglasses (see amusing photos in the album below), hoping to at least get a glimpse of this once in a lifetime event. Uhm… nope. Didn’t really work for us.
After a few (unsuccessful) moments of observation from our backyard, I headed across the street to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, where I could experience this event in the Peace Garden. That would make it special, even if I couldn’t really “see” it unfold. Within seconds, global neighbors (from Taiwan and China and Thailand — who had each just met each other for the first time) were saying, “Here, look through these — it is very different!.” They were sharing three pairs of eclipse-watching safety glasses secured from the Smithsonian Museum, and offering to share with every other global neighbor who chose Mattie’s Park as their place to observe this spectacular event.
Wow! And thank you!
They were correct — watching the eclipse occur through the special glasses was just a beautiful gift of nature to witness, with safety and with clarity. For more than an hour, we all took turns, watching the eclipse for a minute or so — in awe — then passing the glasses to another neighbor, who would do the same, until a few minutes later, when it would be our turn again. The sharing was not structured or pre-planned, but it was organized and naturally occurring — simply by caring about others’ needs and wants, and ensuring they were balanced with personal needs and wants. And as the time passed, we all experienced — fully — the beauty of the eclipse with just a handful of special safety glasses in hand.
Together, we watched the moon passing between the earth and the sun — in our area, blocking out 82 percent of the light. Together, we ooooh’d and aaaaah’d and cheered and shared the glasses. And as time passed, we engaged in conversation, and got to know a bit more about each other, and how we all ended up in this place, at this time.
So I also say — Wow! And thank you!
As the global headlines of the week remind us, and sadden us, as we witness repeated acts of deliberate violence, and the injuring and killing of innocent children and adults as they celebrated life, this simple act of people sharing their resources with others — with other neighbors, yet not previously known or connected in time and space — was a reminder that, like nature, humanity is a treasured gift. And #PeaceIsPossible if we make peace, and important acts like kindness and respect, our choice.
Today, I got to know a few new “neighbors from around the block and around the world.” Mattie Stepanek would be so happy. I look forward to future interactions as well. These are the truths that make life so wonderful. We are a global family. And that, is a gift — of nature and humanity at its best.
Thank you, to Alex and Sue and Gigi and John and all the other new friends — my gifts of the 2017 Solar Eclipse. I am already looking forward to future gatherings with my newest friends, and global neighbors.


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