Here in the Path of Totality (after)

a companion piece to the poem of nearly the same title, I offered this as the Devotional at the Vermont House of Representatives today (April 11, 2024), a recording of which is at the bottom of this post.

Two or three minutes, more or less, 

moving & shaking & touching 

those within the exquisite umbral span.

Two or three minutes 

that led to somewhat replenished state coffers

after the previous summer’s ragged floods.

Two or three minutes 

that made astronomers of us all

introducing into our common vernacular

diamond ring (not meaning gaudy human ritual of engagement).

Also Baily’s Beads and 360° sunset

eye safety and Saros cycle

prominence and occultation and syzygy.

Umbra and penumbra and wow-without-words.

Two or three minutes

when the place we intended to be 

at 3:26 or 3:27 on April 8th, 2024 ~

depending on our personal & communal

brave little state topography ~

could be the glorious Colchester Causeway

or Newport in the Northeast Kingdom 

or a patch of brown-to-greening lawn in Waterbury:

it was all equally lunar, equally solar, equally stellar.

Two or three minutes, 

that gave us our geographical generation’s 

pale blue dot moment:

a visual & visceral reminder

made aural through the throated wonder

rising up from six thousand on the Burlington waterfront 

and handfuls in front of the general store in East Calais.

For all of us in the path of totality

~ scratch that ~

for all of us who, at any given time,

dwell within the reach of the sun’s warming rays:

yes, a visual & visceral nudge

that we are all, truly, siblings & cousins

sharing the same origins & the same destiny

in this vast cosmos

in this magnificent solar system

on this very planet,

that deserves our sustained awe

translated into 

a much gentler footprint.