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Solar Eclipse - Grand Teton Mountains

Rachel Saylor

Cacophony resounds in my head, yet no one speaks. We look, admire with our jaws unhinged, breathing heavy like a herd of cattle. The sudden drop in the temperature makes me aware of my body, fists clenched in my pockets like a boxer ready to enter the ring. The anticipation flutters in my chest as I swivel my head back and forth from the sky to the mountain line. The land beneath my feet is layered with polarized lenses, a filter only too much tinkering in Photoshop can create.   

They say the shadow of the moon is what I see sweeping across the towering mountains, rushing towards me at an unfathomable speed. Yet, when it engulfs me whole, draping me in its blanket and almost knocking me off of my feet, I can't help but think it's more than just a shadow. It is unearthly and alive as it sweeps across my skin, sending a shiver straight down my spine. It rushes past me, leaving me to catch my breath. In slow motion, I swivel back to take in the yin and yang of the sky as it converges to make one piece. Night takes over day, offering a gift to the onlookers. 

The cool blue and white light that beams in a circle are electrifying. No photo, no words can properly depict the beauty our naked eyes can see, nor give a full sense of what it is like to experience this natural phenomenon. 

Unknowingly, the herd that was spread out in the field on the side of the mountain comes together in a near huddle. It is not until the light begins to reveal itself again, that we look around at each other, eyes wide, knowing that even as strangers, we shared something intimate and raw. I sense an inkling of what Philippe Petit felt after his high-wire walk across the Twin Towers. The adrenaline, the sense of being alive and seeing a door open to unimaginable new possibilities.