On Monday, millions of Americans were spellbound by one of nature’s rarest and most awe-inspiring sights–a total solar eclipse. This was the first total solar eclipse of the 21st century and the first to cross the entire U.S. in nearly 100 years. As the day progressed, I found myself increasingly mesmerized as news commentators described this rare celestial phenomenon and monitored its progression across the country from Oregon to South Carolina. The excitement was clearly palpable among the men, women and children across the nation who’d gathered to view the celestial lineup.
This experience reminded me of one of my favorite songs from 1971, Cat Stevens’ “Moon Shadow” from his album Teaser and the Firecat. This lyrical song and its uplifting message have always been an inspiration to me. Listen here.
The 2017 eclipse and Stevens’ song will now forever be linked in my mind. The magnificent event taking place in the heavens and the ethereal understanding that a miracle was taking place were further amplified by the belief that perhaps my husband Larry, my father, my grandparents and other diseased loved were somehow witnessing the event alongside me. The eclipse came to signify to me how the earth and the heavens–and the souls that live in both–remain inextricably connected.
For those of you who also participated in this amazing experience, I encourage you to chronicle your story in a journal or share your thoughts with loved ones. It is in just these shared experiences that we connect, one to the other.
As the twilight deepened across the Carbondale, Illinois, landscape as the eclipse reached totality, the crowd went wild, shouting with awe. Goosebumps broke out all over my body. In my heart and soul, it was as if the excited cheering was emanating from both an earthly and celestial place.
The next total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024. I’ll see you there.
Here’s an excerpt of lyrics from “Moon Shadow”:
Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow—
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow—
And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won’t have to work no more.
And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won’t have to cry no more.
Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?
Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow.