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Sustainable Pittsburgh

307 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1500
Pittsburgh, PA

Straight Talk: Where were you during the eclipse?

Sustainable Pittsburgh took time out to observe and reflect on Monday’s eclipse.  What was your moment of inspiration?  Here are some of ours.

“Surrounded by largely uninterested children doing what they should do in a heated game of kickball, the eclipsing slow dance high in the sky delivered its anticipated effect.  Caught up in the tribulations of our days, we cocoon ourselves in realities that dim the senses.  For a moment; however, donning the trusted eclipse glasses, with nose pointed to the sun, light came shining through.  Achieved (and hopefully not soon lost) were the edges of perspective about the majesty of the infinite choreography that marches on, always within sight when we are ready to notice.  In the daily games of kickball, we excel with appreciation of our place and role in honoring the gift of nature’s sustaining elegance.”


“When I arrived at my apartment, I found a small crowd gathered in the central courtyard.  Each resident had different tools for viewing, from homemade pinhole boxes to a darkly tinted piece of welding glass.  While it was amazing to see the eclipse in action, it was also heartening to see neighbors share their viewing tools and I had fun sharing my glasses with two women of The Silent Generation.  They had never seen a solar eclipse in person even though several had occurred over their lifetimes.  Being able to share the wonders of the universe is what connects us and I’m thankful to have been a part of it.  One of the women summed it up with a perfect takeaway, “You’re never too old to learn…even at this age!”


“I took pictures on my phone, which worked out very well, and I could see the moon inching closer and closer in front of the sun.  The experience spoke to me because I was alone for the eclipse, but enjoyed it because I could see the sun and moon and how they could come together as one for a day and thrill the nation!”


“The practice of undistracted observation is so rare in modern life.  Often, our deepest regrets arise from our failure to observe and remember.  For one day, across our divided nation, we were all invited to observe.  By doing so, we marked a day in history when our lives were…everything they were.  That moment – in fact, every moment – will only occur once in a lifetime.  If I have one hope, it is that we have all learned in this practice to honor the present with observation and gratitude, even as we pursue our greatest dreams for the future.”


“The eclipse brought so many of us outside, focused on one piece of nature – one piece of life, across a country that is feeling such divide.  At its darkest moment when the wind picked up, the crickets and katydids were chirping, and the birds grew quiet, I wondered if nature was trying to really speak to our humanity as Americans, for this marvel seen from coast to coast was really tying us together, despite our great divides.”

Donate your eclipse glasses!

The Astronomers Without Borders website notes that the group will soon be announcing a program to collect eclipse glasses for distribution to other countries for future eclipses.  Visit their website to learn more and save those glasses!