Eclipses past and present

I chose not to leave home for the eclipse on Monday, because there were a reported one million people traveling to Oregon to view it and we expected the roads to be inside. (They weren’t, for the most part…live and learn.) NASA said my house would get 99.77% totality, and that was good enough for me. As was our back garden for viewing.

Almost exactly 18 years ago, we got to witness a near-total eclipse in Newport, Wales, where we were living at the time. (The totality was in Cornwall.) I still have the safety viewing classes from that time. This either means I’m prepared for this time, or I’m a hoarder….

We were living in a 400-year-old cottage with a lovely back terrace. Our friends Chris and Elizabeth, and Julie and her son, Jake, came to stay with us and witness the event.

Clockwise from top: Julie, Jake, Chris, your charming hostess, Elizabeth. Not pictured (because he’s taking the picture!): Ken

The other notable event that day involved one of our kittens. Back on Easter Sunday that year, a stray cat had shown up at the cottage…long story short, she had a broken leg that had to be amputated. Through the various vet visits, and even at home, nobody clued in that she was pregnant. While we were on a trip to Scotland in late June, she’d graced us with three kittens.

I don’t remember now if we’d named the kittens already, or if Eclipse got her name that day. The owners of the cottage had redone the kitchen and had, in their infinite wisdom (that was sarcasm), put the wine rack next to the stove. Not being wine aficionados, we had only one bottle in there.

Sometime during the eclipse viewing, we heard a bang in the house.

We discovered the bottle of wine still in the rack, but with a chunk broken out of it. We also discovered Eclipse the kitten, formerly black and white, now black and wine red. Our best guess is that she’d gone under the bottle and brushed against it enough to make it give way.

She was not amused.

Monday, no bottles of wine exploded on Clara, Max, or Goose. We met up with friends for dinner, and talked of writing and publishing and the marvelous universe we live in. And when I watched the sun disappear and reappear, I meditated on peace and love and transition.

The light always returns….

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