We witnessed a solar eclipse today. From our mid-latitude location the sun was 90% eclipsed by the moon. No totality so no moment of total darkness but for a while the heavens took on a blue-grey twilight and colour seemed to leech from the skies and the fields.
We live in an area steeped in superstition, a place where folklore suggests irrespective of gender anyone who lived alone was sure to be a witch. It’s easy to imagine how celestial events invoked fear, awe or suspicion in days gone by – evidence of rampant witchcraft or very unhappy gods. People are less inclined to lore now which is good because my penchant for cats, wildlife and unusual plants would almost certainly see me on the ducking stool! Once this morning’s obscuration was over the sun regained its normal resplendence and residents of rural Worcestershire enjoyed a beautiful Spring day.
As children we rarely realise that our time on earth cannot be reforecast. Days spin out in front of us and what we do with them is of little consequence. There’s always tomorrow or the day after that. As we grow older we begin to appreciate that time is precious. Irrespective of what any given day might bring, we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it. I find my inclination towards down-to-earth optimism helps. Enough enthusiasm to find something positive in almost any situation coupled with sufficient realism to accept that sometimes shit happens. A happy balance with little room for pessimism or melancholy until the shadow of obscuration crept in.
Like ancient superstitions this is, perhaps, an inescapable consequence of time served in cancerland. Days, weeks and months on the not-so-merry-go-round of tests, results and treatments seems to open up tiny nooks for boding and contemplation of ill-omens. Surgery rarely bothers me. The possibility of undetected changes does. It would herald a return to the not-so-merry-go-round and I don’t want to ride that one again.
For the residents of rural Worcestershire today was a beautiful Spring day. For this resident, ten days on from surgery, it had the potential to go one of two ways. My pathology report is clear and the blob of tissue (that used to be my breast) showed no signs of cancer. Obscuration over, today was a very beautiful Spring day indeed.