An old friend from our hometown wrote and said, “What was it like?” Well, it was like this:
We were outside the entire morning from early on, picking vegetables, watering, waxing the car, and working in the yard. The sky was clear. As the eclipse began, there was a subtle change in the lighting. Little by little, the shadows deepened to a degree that they almost took on color, and wherever light fell, it glowed. The contrast between them was different, as if their relationship had changed somehow. As the eclipse progressed, I was trimming ivy on the fence in the backyard. It wasn’t long until it was hard to see what I was doing. Then I had to stop. When the eclipse was full, it wasn’t night or day. It wasn’t dawn, it wasn’t dusk. The street lights came on. All of the creatures were quiet — except the humans, when the kids in the neighborhood suddenly sent up a big cheer, and then some of the adults, bless their frightened, lonely hearts, set off fireworks. And then the light quickly returned and I finished trimming the ivy. What was it like? It was very much like the day we met. How likely, how inevitable, how beautiful, how lonely, how perfect, how never-to-be-repeated, was that?