2012 Solar Eclipse – A Cosmic Experience
I wasn’t that excited about the solar eclipse predicted for the morning of November 14, 2012, but since I happened to be in North Queensland, Australia, where eclipse hype was rife, I bought the five dollar viewing glasses and set the alarm clock for some ungodly hour in preparation for the event.
Cairns waterfront lagoon pool
The town of Cairns in Far North Queensland was the ultimate destination to witness the full eclipse, and a reported 60,000 people were expected to converge on the area to see it, many traveling from all over the world for the spectacle.
We had been staying in Cairns and left just days before the eclipse, content with only getting a partial eclipse at our next destination, eight hours south at the Town of 1770. I doubt we could have stayed in Cairns if we’d wanted to as it was reported to be fully booked, with potential visitors now being channeled four hours south to Townsville.
One place I would have loved to have been was at the Eclipse Festival, a week long camping event being held just south of Cooktown, right near the tip of our vast, beautiful country. The energy of thousands of people gathering at a festival with a cosmic solar eclipse at its epicentre had a lot of appeal.
Even more so, the promise of seven days immersed in yoga, African drumming, live music, and tribal dancing – all my favourite things!
But it was precisely these things (and the fact that we had no camping gear) that led to my decision not to go. Sadly, my feet/leg/knee injuries still have me limping, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself from joyfully jumping around, yoga-ing, and tribal dancing myself into a frenzy. Physio says … NO!
So I end up at the much more sedate Town of 1770, pretty as a picture with perfect weather conditions for the show.
Our viewing platform
We’d already hunted out a great viewing platform but were not the only ones with this idea, as many were already perched on this stunning headland enjoying the early morning sunshine, gold and shimmering atop the vast blue Coral Sea.
As the appointed time came the sky still looked pretty much like it does any other morning, with not a moon in sight, so I decided to put the glasses on.
Amazing! Through the plastic lens of my cardboard glasses my reality had been transformed.
I was now witnessing a black sky with the shadow of the moon almost fully obscuring the blazing sun. All that was visible of this fiery orb was a glowing orange slither in the shape of a crescent moon.
At the peak of the eclipse the morning light dimmed and everything was bathed in a soft, silvery glow. There was a noticeable drop in air temperature, and everything took on a surreal, eerie feel.
I was astounded at how strong the sun still was, given that it was almost completely blocked by the moon. The intense energy contained in this heavenly body is truly mind-blowing. As is the Universe in which we exist, and this cosmic event was just a reminder that humanity is a very small speck in something so much grander.
So the event moved me more than I’d expected. I felt awe at being a part of something so vast, powerful, dynamic, and completely out of our control.
In the Universal scheme of things, we are but an insignificant speck in a moment in time.
But from an humanitarian perspective, we are the Universe, and more.
The Universe is contained within each and every one of us. We are all made of the same stuff.
So shine on beautiful people – and reach for the stars!
© Copyright November 2012