Moonshadow, Silence, and Blue

This Monday, as most of you know, was the Great American Solar Eclipse. We were so lucky to be right in the path of totality, experiencing almost 2 minutes of total eclipse yumminess. Local schools declared a holiday, I took the day off, and the entire city came to a stand-still to see this once in a lifetime event. While downtown Nashville apparently had some clouds partially obscuring the view at the moment of totality, here in Old Hickory the skies were clear and bright.

I was planted in my chair on the sidewalk in front of our house at 11:55 am, and had my eclipse glasses on and my face turned toward the scalding August sun by 11:57 am, when the first sliver of the moon began to inch in front of the sun. Eventually, I was joined by my husband and daughter, as well as some of our neighbors, all excitedly chattering about the increasing eclipse. We watched the light change and fade on the street, felt the temperature cool from a sweltering 95 degrees into a more pleasant 84 degrees, heard the birds began to chirp as the ecliptic dusk settled upon us, and at the moment of totality, cheered and exclaimed at the breathtaking sight of our Sun completely hidden behind our Moon.

Trying to put an event like this into words always falls short, but suffice it to say, it was one of the most exciting and memorable events of my life. While I didn’t have any luck capturing the eclipse with my little cell phone camera, I did record the change of light on the street at regular 15 minute intervals. Here is our street at the start of the eclipse, at 90%, and at totality.

I will forever be thankful that today’s rain, pattering against the window even as I write this, did not arrive yesterday.

In other news, I am now winning my battle with depression. As it turns out, my depression is merely a symptom of something more insidious – anxiety. The medication that the doctor prescribed for me is an anti-anxiety medication, so as the medication began to take effect, my anxiety began to fade, and with it my depression. Smart guy, my doctor. No more lying awake at 4:00 am wondering what would happen to us if I lost my job, or how I would get home if I missed the bus, or if my kitty that ran away 30 years ago found a new home.

Imagine you were in a room with a dozen radios all playing a different radio station. You can’t make out any one broadcast because there is too much noise, and the noise never ends. Now imagine that you walk out of that room and close the door behind you. You can still hear the cacophony of a dozen radios, but it’s dim now, in the distance, muffled. And on this side of the door, there is silence – beautiful, pure, white, peaceful silence. My brain was the radio room. The medication has provided the door to shut the noise away. It’s still there, dim in the background, but I can ignore it and find peace in the silence. If I need to hear one of those messages, I can bring it forward by itself to listen to it, without being overwhelmed. And my mind can finally rest.

Lastly, as I mentioned in my previous post, we are finally going to finish painting the house. Two weekends ago, we scrubbed the house. Last weekend, we caulked and repaired shingles. And this past weekend, we put the first coat of paint on.

Here is what it looked like when we started, all prepped and ready for painting:

It was very hot this weekend, so progress was slow, with frequent water and shade breaks. At the end of Saturday, the upper story was complete:

Sunday was even hotter, mid-90s, and the humidity was higher as well. I could only be on the ladder for about 5 minutes before having to come down into the shade. However, by the end of Sunday, the first coat was complete:

Next weekend’s forecast calls for more moderate temperatures, so hopefully we will be able to complete the final coat in one day. I strained my back, so I am trying to take it easy until then, so we can get it done! I was so tired of looking at the house, looking the way it did, so it’s a real relief to have the painting almost finished. I’m sure our neighbors are thrilled as well!

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