Eclipsed by the Clouds
Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you likely know we experienced a pretty cool phenomenon in the USA yesterday. The solar eclipse has been all over the media for weeks now. As a photographer who lives within the path of totality, I was asked multiple times if I would be purchasing a special filter for my camera so I could photograph the eclipse. I may be among the minority of photographers in Charleston, but I did not.
I knew there would be many other photographers who were better equipped to photograph an event like the eclipse (NASA for example), and I chose to enjoy their beautiful photographs instead of stressing myself out trying to get the best shot. Besides, we all know my specialty is photographing people. I like to capture the experience of the PEOPLE in an event and not necessarily the event itself.
My husband had to work the day of the eclipse, so I took my kids out to my parents' house. They live a little north of Charleston and were supposed to have the longest period of totality. I spent some time explaining the eclipse to my 4-year-old using a flashlight and 2 rubber balls. My dad then helped her make a pinhole viewer from a cereal box.
We tested out the projector, and I was actually pretty impressed with how well it worked! We could even see the detail in some of the clouds passing over.
We tried to show my little one how to use the projector, but he's only 19 months old. This whole experience was way over his head. He had much more fun chasing frogs outside and generally being adorable.
It was a pretty cloudy day, but we had a great view for most of the progression leading up to totality. My daughter watched through her pinhole viewer most of the time, but we allowed her to take glances with the eclipse glasses occasionally (with adult supervision and assistance).
I was surprised by how quickly the temperature cooled as darkness arrived. My parents live out in the country, so the chorus of crickets and frogs is often very loud as evening falls. It was amazing to hear them suddenly come to life at 2:30 in the afternoon! My daughter's reaction was priceless, and I'm so glad I had my camera aimed at her in that moment.
Once we explained to her that all the creatures were confused by the darkness, she thought it was hilarious! It wasn't long before the sun began to return. Unfortunately, a dark storm cloud arrived just moments before totality, so we missed the main event! We were all disappointed, but I was thankful I hadn't been planning to photograph the eclipse anyway. Instead I was able to capture an exciting day with my family. I'm sure one day we'll all reminisce about the great eclipse that was eclipsed by the clouds.
Did you watch any of the eclipse? Were you able to see the time of totality? Tell me about it in the comments!
Made For Each Other
There have been times in the years since you were born when I wondered what God could have possibly been thinking giving you to me. Not because of anything you have done. Oh no, precious girl...
I wonder why God thought I would be the best momma for you. I think I'm a pretty good mom most of the time, but I often worry that one day you'll be sitting with your therapist lamenting all the ways in which I screwed you up and all the ways I could have been better.
Our personalities are just so different. It's not that I don't understand you. I know every little facet of who you are. I've been studying you since the moment you were born.
You are cautious and timid.
You don't like to try new things until you've watched for a little while and are fairly confident that you could do them well.
You are a planner.
You are tender and thoughtful.
I adore everything about you, sweet girl.
But I fly by the seat of my pants. I'm loud and a little bit chaotic. I like to jump in with both feet and learn as I go.
Sometimes I worry I'm too much for you and at the same time, not enough.
Lately, however, in seemingly every day moments, I've been hearing God whisper, "This is why you were made for each other."
Last summer, I made you take swim lessons because I thought it was important for you to know how to swim considering we spend so much time in or near the water. You fought me every step of the way. You rarely, if ever, made it through a lesson without crying at least once.
This year, I decided to give you space to decide for yourself. If there's one thing I've learned about you, it's that you do things on your own timeline. You can't be forced. You have to decide when you're ready. Because I'm flexible and spontaneous, giving you the time you need is easy for me. God whisper #1.
Two weeks ago you suddenly informed me you wanted to go to swim lessons. I called and asked the coach to squeeze you in for the last 2 weeks of lessons. It completely turned our schedule upside down, but I'm always up for an adventure whenever you decide you're ready. God whisper #2.
The very first day of lessons, you informed me that you would NEVER jump off the diving board. I told you that was okay. You didn't have to jump off the diving board. I was still proud of you for choosing to go back to lessons and working so hard to improve each day.
Over the next two weeks, you flourished! You were swimming well and jumping in from the side of the pool with confidence. You were still adamant that you didn't want to jump off the diving board, but I saw you watching the other kids... watching them jump while you sat quietly on the side of the pool. I told you it was okay to change your mind. You could try the diving board if you wanted. I was proud of you either way.
Your cautious mind sometimes tells you that you can't or it's too scary. I'm the voice that reminds you that you CAN. I'm the one that believes in you even when you're not so sure, but I still give you the space to figure it out for yourself. God whisper #3.
Then one day you declared that you were ready. I watched you climb up the ladder. You suddenly looked so small, yet I was stunned by your confidence.
After a quick look to make sure I was watching, you jumped...
When you came up out of the water, you looked for me to see my reaction and found me unashamedly cheering like a lunatic. Oh my baby girl, you finally realized you could fly...
God might have whispered then too, but I like to think He was cheering with me instead.