Tea at Totality

“When is this eclipse?”

“Tomorrow morning, from about 9:30.”

“What a shame. I’m meeting these guys down at the hatchery…we’re going to start the generator. At 9:30.”

“Forget it. Nobody will be there. Everything will stop because everyone will be watching the eclipse.”

“But the meeting is for 9:30.”

“Put it off. They’ll all be late anyway.”

“No, they won’t.”

“Seriously. Call them. The fish aren’t going to die. Tell them your wife insists that you watch the eclipse with her, if you have to use me as a foil. Twenty years from now, are you going to say, ‘Oh, yes, how well I remember the 41,389th day of wiring an industrial worksite!’ or are you going to say, ‘Remember when the sky went dark during the only total eclipse of the sun in the Pacific NW in 100 years!’ ?”

Next day I made tea in our little thermoses and we poked a hole in a paper plate for a projector. We walked over to the Christmas tree farm which has some large open meadowy spaces, to be sure the sun would only be blocked by the moon and not our forest. There was not a cloud in the sky as we spread a blanket and set out our tea. Bill played with the doggie. The light went oddly muted and the sky went dark blue. The temperature dropped some.

Jasmine tea in Korean cups with a thumbnail crescent of the sun's eclipse
Jasmine tea in Korean cups with a thumbnail crescent of the sun’s eclipse

We had tea at the 90% totality which was the allotment for those at our latitude, and we projected the crescent thumbnail of the sun on the tea tray. The odd thing was that the shadows of everything were sharp, though the light was low and greyish. The dog didn’t freak out or go blind staring at the sun. Birds didn’t drop out of the sky, and nobody was raptured out of this plane of existence (that we know of, but perhaps it is the company we keep…)

Bill said, “This was a good idea, to take time out and enjoy an hour of Mother Nature and have a cup of tea during an eclipse.”

And then he went off to work.