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    My First Total Eclipse: “Far Out!” By Louise Applebome

    By Louise Applebome


    As my friends and family will tell you, I’m not a math person.

    Nor am I a science person.
    I understand that technology is as necessary as food and shelter to get on in the world these days, but if I could get along without it I just might. 

    Perhaps I’m more of the metaphysical type. 

    I’m a wonderment-in-nature-abounds person and someone who wonders how to help people understand that stillness, quiet, and slowing down are golden. 


    So as the first-ever total solar eclipse to be visible from my own house in Dallas during my lifetime approached, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. 

    Much ado about nothing?

    So much of the hype was about the event’s economic impact and consumerism and shortage of hotel rooms in the area, etc. For me, all of that is one big turn-off.

    Oh, I appreciated its rarity and where it stands in the pantheon of astronomical history. 

    (Here in Dallas, the last total solar eclipse was in 1878. The next one here isn’t due until 300 years from now.)

    But I couldn’t predict what the personal, visceral experience of the phenomenon would be like for me. (History and statistics don’t turn me on either.) 

    But I was game to find out. 


    So, being the somewhat methodical personality that I tend to be, once I finished all my morning chores on April 8, the day of the eclipse, I scouted out the south patio of my home (prior to the start of the eclipse) to pick out the best spots for setting up a few viewing stations. I wanted to have options. As is often the case, trial and error came in very handy. So did my special eclipse glasses.

     And the stage was set.

    And what a cosmic show it was.


    I suspect elite eclipse chasers might have been disappointed with the weather conditions in Dallas. There were clouds. However, I found that the clouds added drama and were a huge tease, in the best sense. Each time they blocked out the sun (prematurely) I got a laugh out of it. The sun, moon, clouds, and earth were just messing with me.  Particularly during the near climax of totality, when the sun had become a barely detectable sliver, there were these riveting moments when clouds reappeared and when viewers like me weren’t sure we’d get another glimpse of the vanishing sun before the moon slid masterfully into place to obscure the sun, and darkness descended upon the earth. 

    High drama, indeed. 


    And actually, visually, the clouds were delightful and diaphanous. They showed up as beautiful patterns and textures dancing to block what was left of the sun. I realize many would have been frustrated by the intrusion of the clouds. For me, they were another dimension of entertainment and surprise. (Perhaps “ignorance is bliss” in action?) And my acceptance of the clouds, over which I had no control, also enabled me to more willingly accept the barking dog and loud lawn equipment across the street, over which I have never had any control. Better that than reeling and cursing under my breath. 


    The whole process took about two and a half hours. And the accuracy with which the ETA (12:20 p.m. Central Time) and ETD (3:00 p.m. Central Time) of the moon had been predicted was downright astonishing. Again, I’m not a math or science person. It all blew my mind. Which, by the way, was also part of the entire experience. It was psychedelic (as one who lived through her younger hippy years is entitled to say). Almost hallucinogenic but without any artificial substances. (Or maybe that was the result of looking up at the eclipse, even with the magic glasses on, for longer-than-recommended intervals.) I became almost mesmerized.


    During one such trance, I seemed to pick up on subliminal messages being sent down to us earthlings by the sun and the moon…the perfect balance and blending of male and female, respectfully. The humility and austerity with which the sun ceded all its power to a moon that simply needed to politely pass by was a sight to behold. 

    And all done in silence. 

    Harmony and synchronicity. 

    Totality lasted just over four minutes. 


    I’m thinking the sun and the moon were sending alerts for all to hear.

    “HEY, WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!,” they were saying. “Pay attention. There is still hope. There is still a natural order of things. There is still something called give and take. There is still the potential for sheer beauty and wonder and cooperation and love and respect to prevail.” 


    Or is there… 


    The final moments of the eclipse, when the moon went on its way and the sun shone brightly once again, was also a sight to behold.

    The shiny orb was luminous.

    A precious work of art. 

    What a marvel.


    My first total solar eclipse: An astral maestro creating a series of artworks, in real-time.

    Each phase along the way filled with its own unique and exquisite gifts and qualities. 

    A perfectly choreographed celestial dance. 


    I emerged from the adventures that day with a new-found affection for eclipses. I don’t anticipate turning into an eclipse chaser, although I have a bit more appreciation for that level of passion. So, in the end, the moon and sun’s message to tolerate, respect, and embrace others with different ideas and ideologies has already had an effect on me. 

    I’m so glad I decided to find out what all the hoopla was about. 




    Louise Applebome, 70, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Dallas. After “retiring” from a vibrant and varied professional career, she became a yoga teacher. She teaches all her classes on Zoom right now and accepts students, young or older, from wherever they are, both geographically and in their pursuit of a yoga practice. Louise will help you stay fit and flexible, and release tension, aches & pains from the body…and the mind. Her yoga studio in Dallas is del norte yoga. You can reach out to her at [email protected].