It Was A Day Of Awe!

August 21, 2017...a day of awe! The sky was clear, the view expansive. There was much humanity and people felt grounded; a connection to something mysterious, magical and so simple in its effect to spread joy, wonderment and awe to absolutely everyone, everywhere. 

The Total Eclipse that everyone was talking about; this totality, which has not happened since 1979, and has not traversed such a broad swath of the country in 99 years. How lucky I was to experience this phenomenal event (totality!!) in Sun Valley, Idaho!

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The morning was crisp and clear with the temperature warming up quickly.  I imagine a scientist would say the conditions were ideal.  My dear friends, Deanna Melin, Mary Heckmann, Linda Badell and I boarded the gondola - for some reason we abandoned the idea of hiking up the mountain - for the scenic ride up Bald Mountain.  Our destination, Roundhouse restaurant which was built in 1939 by Sun Valley's founding father Union Pacific Railroad Chairman Averell Harriman. 

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Our tickets provided full access to the restaurant and deck with breakfast and lunch following the Eclipse.  And, let’s not forget the Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s from start to finish!  The mood was festive; everyone was friendly, sharing their experiences of previous celestial events, and the excitement mounted for what was to come.  We joined other friends, Sydney and Jay Johnson, Laura Hunt, Kathy Kendrick, Marna and Rock Schnabel. There was much laughter, picture-taking and great anticipation for the totality.  As the time approached, the temperature dropped, voices hushed, we donned our glasses to the sounds of birds, grasshoppers and a variety of animals on the mountainside. 

A hushed silence overcame us as we watched the moon stand up to the sun perfectly blocking its fierce light except for the corona.  What a spectacular sight!  Because we were in the totality, it was acceptable to remove our glasses when it was completely dark.  I am sure everyone’s jaw dropped, I know mine did!  A breathtaking sight that is really indescribable. 

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I am kind of a nut when it comes to “happenings.”  In 2002, there was the Leonids, which are among the most dazzling meteor showers.  Paul and I were in Los Angeles; I had read about this I asked him a few days in advance if he was up for an adventure – it would be a surprise, he just had to say yes and go at the appointed time.  He was not thrilled when I awoke him at 1:30 in the morning days later telling him it was time for the adventure.  He reluctantly obliged me, got in the car with my basket adorned with cookies, coffee and Kaluha!  We drove in the pitch dark a short distance to the side of a mountain, where I removed blankets and pillows to lie comfortably on the ground.  What happened next was another moment of awe;  a storm of more than 10,000 meteors that covered the sky each hour.  Absolutely spectacular – Paul looked at me and said, “I got it!” The next Leonids Meteor Shower is November 18, 2017.

After totality, huddled around the wooden table on the deck of Bald Mountain, Mary, Deanna, Linda and I shared our impressions and emotions of how this quick phenomena inspired wonder for a lifetime.  We were full of questions and comments about the magic and mystery of our solar system.  This event was enriched by the abundant appreciation the four of us shared for the beauty that surrounded us; our health, family, friends and the most special friendships we shared for each other.

This brings to mind the importance of celebrating life, each and every moment.  That breath you just took, that is a gift.  We must never forget there is extraordinary in the ordinary. 

Talking with patients I often hear the fear in their voice.  Comments such as, “I won’t be able to go to that wedding in Europe," or "I can’t imagine I will be able to attend my daughters graduation next June” are far too common.  One patient in my doctor’s office told me how much she loved the opera and her dream was to go the Metropolitan Opera in NY.  She was on chemo and I could hear the trepidation in her voice.  She could not possibly imagine she would be able to attend in a few short months ahead.  For me, this was unacceptable! I suggested the first thing she should do when returning home was to go online to book her airline and theater tickets.  She should plan every detail down to selecting her theater seats and planning her wardrobe!  Visiting my doctor shortly after, he asked what I had said to this patient.  When he saw her next, he was so happy with her demeanor.  She was excited with anticipation about her trip to New York and what opera she would attend.  Her mood had changed and she was hopeful about the future.

My wish for all of us is that we will be happy, have a sense of wonder, do things we are good at, love our work, believe in ourselves, stay inspired, read books, play games, pray, exercise, stay close to our family and friends, take risks, help others, face our fears and let our hearts be our guide.

We can celebrate the simplest of moments and they too can be a moment of awe. Postpone nothing, celebrate everything!

September 22 will be the Autumnal Equinox – where will you be?