Will the Eclipse be as Cool as the Shuttle Launch and Glaciers?

My excitement has been ramped up for weeks now about today’s solar eclipse. But just how cool will it be? As awe-inspiring as the shuttle launch we once saw? As breathtaking as Alaska’s glaciers?

Today’s the say I’ll get answers to my questions.

I’m nervous I won’t be as impressed as I hope to be, though. Here’s why…

The Space Shuttle

I could’ve cared less about seeing the space shuttle. It just so happened we were living in Florida at the time. Wayne’s brother and husband were coming to visit and had chosen to fly into Orlando. We went down to get them, and it worked out a shuttle take off was scheduled the same day.

But we were warned they were often scraped. So we didn’t know if we’d get to see it or not.

We found a place to park pretty easily. We’d also been told that would be hard.

But we’d gotten there early because of Keith and John’s arrival time. We had nothing else to do so why not head over?

We had a great chance to catch up with them while we waited. As we did, darkness fell, the parking lot had grown more and more crowded. Cars were everywhere in fact. While we waited, we also walked around. We soon noticed that wherever people could park, they were.

Then it happened. First a slight delay, then an excited murmur rushed through the crowd about news of a “go ahead.”

The launch was on!

Then suddenly came the countdown. The whole crowd, in unison, counted, “Five, four, three, two, one…”

There was a pause, so still it seemed everyone had sucked out the sound out of the world as we held our collective breath.

Then the night lit up as the rocket’s fired to life. Literally, sun spat out and just as hot as might come from a dragon’s mouth.

It was also loud. The rocket rumbled and roared to an uncomfortable crescendo before slowly, gracefully rising from the earth.

Which I remember thinking was weird. It wasn’t the burst of energy I’d been expecting.

A heat-wave washed across the waters towards us. It was scary and exhilarating watching this man-made work of wonder come to life and rise into the heavens like that. Chills raced through my body and goosebumps sprung up on my skin then and every time since that I’ve thought about it.

The Glacier

Seeing my first glacier was like that too, except different. I remember not being excited to visit Alaska. Wayne wanted to go. He’d heard good things.

“I’m thinking we should go sooner rather than later if all this global warming stuff is true,” he said.

As usual, he had a way of saying stuff so it made sense to me. So I agreed to go on my first Alaskan cruise. (Didn’t know it’d be my “first” then. I figured it’d be my only.)

Staring at a bunch of ice, old ice, seemed about as exciting to me as watching grass grow, but the magnificence, the cold, the colors –not just white, but streaks of dirty gray and glimmers of jewel-like blue mixed into the whites– and the size…wow.

Not to mention the scenery our eyes were feasting on to make it in to see the glaciers.

And then to learn they are dynamic, ever changing, even though they appear to be stagnant. No, they calve. Bits crack off, in sometimes thundering ways, other times gun-popping ways, before splashing into the ocean and causing mini-waves.

Well, needless to say, it was a LOT cooler than I ever could’ve imagined. We’ve been back to Alaska now four times, and if it was up to me we’d spend summers there.

The Solar Eclipse

So, yeah, I’m excited for today’s celestial event.

Which is why I’m also worried. I wasn’t excited about the other “bigggies” as I think of the space shuttle and the glaciers. Not like how I am about this total solar eclipse.

I hope it’ll be as cool. I’m very curious about what all will happen. Will the birds really stop singing? Will we really be able to see stars? Just how quiet will the earth become and how will my soul react?

We’ll find out here shortly…

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