On Sunday morning, Cindy and I drove into downtown Charleston to attend Sunday morning worship at St. Michael’s Church, a vibrant Anglican Church which worships in a beautiful building dating from the 1700s. We normally attend St. Phillip’s when in Charleston, but based on the recommendations of friends in Lakeland, we decided to visit St. Michael’s. The service was beautiful from beginning to end. What a wonderful morning!
On Monday, we had our good friend, Justin, over to our RV for a total solar eclipse party (Shera was visiting her daughter, Megan, in Jacksonville). The eclipse was to begin around 1:15 or so. Just five minutes before the expected start we caught the last glimpse of the sun we would have from our vantage point in North Charleston. Dark, thick clouds moved in obscuring our view of the sky. We waited for a few moments before realizing that the odds of us now seeing the eclipse were slim to none. After checking the satellite cloud cover on Accuweather, we decided to jump in the truck and drive northward as fast as allowable in an attempt to escape the coastal clouds and rain. About 40 miles later, we exited I-26 and pulled off into a weigh-station to view the eclipse. By then, the moon had covered nearly 1/2 the sun (visible, of course, only through the special eclipse glasses). We watched for a few moments before realizing the clouds were encroaching on our view at the weigh-station. So, we jumped back in the truck for another 10-mile ride, where we pulled over to watch the rest of the eclipse. How thankful we were! (We actually had to move once more — another five miles up the road.)
There was no noticeable difference in the brightness of our surroundings as the moon steadily nibbled away at the sphere of the sun; that is, until there was just a sliver of sun left. Then, weirdly, twilight began in the middle of the afternoon. Soon, totality occurred and the surreal darkness descended. It wasn’t as black as the middle of the night, but it was definitely an unnatural darkness. For the two minutes of totality, we could shed our glasses and stare at the sun, it was truly a spiritual, transcendent experience. Tears flowed as I beheld this glorious total eclipse of the sun. Although some may see it as a cosmic coincidence, I see it as a grand gift from our Creator. The odds of even the possibility of a solar eclipse visible from the surface of any planet are exceedingly small. In order for a total solar eclipse to occur, the sun and the moon (the eclipsing body) must have the exact same apparent size to a viewer on the surface of the planet. It just so happens that our sun is 400 times larger than our moon… and is also 400 times further away than the moon, meaning they have the exact same apparent size and enabling us to see this amazing astrological event. Just over two minutes after totality began, the sun peaked out from the other side of the moon. Shortly thereafter, we hopped back in the truck and drove the 50 mile-trip back to the Charleston KOA and our RV, where there was nothing but thick cloud cover, rain and thunderstorms. We were so glad we hopped in our vehicle in pursuit of blue skies and the sun! Our chase of the sun only enhanced our fun for the day.
This morning, we’re packing things up for the beginning of our journey northward! Next stop: North Carolina.