I love the way that today we shucked off routine and went outside to look at the sky. At De Montfort University, staff, students, passers-by stood looking through ‘free with the Leicester Mercury’ goggles, through ‘phone cameras, through pinholes in card, through colanders ( thank you Brian Cox), and, for the students whose Law lecturer is also an avid astronomer, through a telescope.
I don’t sleep well. Driving to work I was surprised by a tiny crescent moon skittering between the driver’s mirror and the back window of my car. Without actually remembering, I recognised the eclipse, arriving in my car without me even looking.
How amazing then to see it twice, later when I was actually looking, when we all were, walking out of classrooms, labs, offices, messing up our routines, gratefully, to gaze at the moon partially obscuring the sun, the slight dip of light, how everything returned, and the sun, all arms and elbows, resumed its sprawl.
Such a week. Wonderful validating surprise offset against ongoing effortful necessities and anxieties.
It’s not every day the moon partly occludes the sun. That it matters. That we bother to wonder, look up. That for such things office hours, by common consent, cease to exist.