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~ Please enjoy my column for the Loon Lake Times – September/October 2017 Edition ~
Copyright ©2017, ElizaBeth Coira
Summer’s sweet ease is slowly creeping, drifting away on gusty, dusty winds. The growth on the lower stories have advanced their shift to crinkly reds, bristly oranges, rusty browns, and yellowing greens. They are preparing to close up shop for the year, store away their sugars, and drop their amazing little solar panels. It won’t be long, Fall will soon be upon us. Luckily most of the evergreens stick around all year. They cheer our hearts as our constant green companions, their presence always the sign post for good green earth and clean air. The trees, bushes, and grasses seem to sense the seasonal shift, well before I’m willing to acknowledge Summer’s passing. And on the occasion of the August 21st solar eclipse, I wondered how all we living beings would respond, here around Loon Lake.
The solar eclipse was much-hyped in the media—no one could have possibly escaped notice. So I couldn’t help but join in on all the fervor, making my way down to the lakeside that morning. As I wandered across my community’s beach, the cheerful call of neighbors drifted on the breeze; my friends Jim, Pam, and Donna had already setup on their boat, eclipse glasses in hand, ready for the big event. I, however, was not quite so prepared, and very thankful to be invited! To my friends with the glasses, the eclipse had already begun; as for me, I could only speculate that it felt a bit dimmer, just a bit different. I wondered if I was really sensing anything at all, or had the headlines I read simply skewed my view.
All aboard! I jumped on ship, caught a glimpse through the glasses, and a great taste of simple, sweet amazement. Then slowly but surely more neighbors made their way out; and Jim shouted, inviting all to join us. Before we knew it, we had quite an impromptu party, all gathered and passing the eclipse glasses around. Some neighbors had never actually met, for others it was a great chance to catch up. The eclipse brought us together in curiosity, wonder, joy, friendship, and child-like awe. We all chatted happily about summer adventures, experiences and memories, life’s journeys and twists on the trail. We each noted a perceivable drop in the temperature, and enthusiastically encouraged the sharing and comparing of observations, through those funny little paper contraptions. We all found it slightly disappointing that despite “97% coverage,” in never went very dark. I jokingly told so many neighbors that if this was to be the end of times, it had been great sharing in life with them, here at Loon Lake.
Perhaps the beauty of the landscape has worked its way into the beautiful, kind people living around here. Perhaps we’ve all given over, allowed the gift of this landscape to transfigure our humble, lovely lives. Either way, and in between, I am thankful that the eclipse and Mother Nature has brought us together, to share in the seasons of life at Loon Lake. Though for some it may be hard to understand; my move to this nature-centered, kinder, simpler existence, has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, consultant, and Loon Lake neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.