#20: Witness a Celestial Event
I promise - cross my heart and spit in your eye - that when I created this birthday bucketlist I had no clue there would be an historical event streaking across the heavens this year. Imagine my absolute thrill when I discovered that a spectacular Solar Eclipse would be sweeping the nation!
So! Much! Yay!
I immediately settled on Charleston, SC as my viewing hub - a no brainer - because it's not only charming but it's the last major US city to see the eclipse in full totality. Also: crab cakes. #priorities
Planning for this experience began in April - and it's been a helluva long wait!! But finally, this morning, I hopped a flight south arrived into Charleston only a few hours before the eclipse began - enough time to meander the streets, grab a slice of key lime pie (again, ya know, priorities) then jockey for a position among the crowds. I settled on an adorable café with outdoor seating and chilled rosé. Naturally.
As the moon slowly inched its way across the sun, people stopped along the street in pure awe. The energy in the crowd practically sparkled with anticipation. Glasses were worn, cameras were lifted, gasps were heard, and the utter magic of the moment enveloped us as the moon passed in front of the bright sun and super-charged our little piece of Earth. The absurd Southern heat suddenly cooled a bit. The air calmed. The world darkened. And the sun ignited with a halo of brilliant oranges, blues, and amethysts - otherworldly! It was a science-inspired religious experience....
...a 90 second religious experience! It was over nearly as soon as it began.
But ohhhhhhh, what a miraculous 90 seconds! As soon as the sun reappeared a roar erupted, a cacophony of voices excitedly joined in unison saying things like "did you FEEL that???" and "omg, I almost CRIED!!". We all smiled. We all cheered. We all chattered with fellow human strangers about how wildly amazing this planet really is. It was truly ethereal. And then, with all the cells in my body still crackling with joy, I took a slow, deep breath, finished off my rosé, and let the experience burn into my brain before finally turning to leave.
Witnessing a rare celestial event is unequivocally one of the coolest things I've ever done - it makes you feel human, which makes you feel hungry, which could only mean one thing...
...it was time for those crab cakes!