Nature’s lessons revealed by an eclipse

One of my most cherished memories concerning nature sprang from our last big solar eclipse here in North Louisiana. But it wasn’t the actual eclipse itself. It was a mere byproduct – one little incident that has remained with me since 2017 and always brings a smile.
Because of our location beside several patches of woodlands, deer sometimes wander through our backyard. So that day, Hooshang and I weren’t surprised to see a doe leading her twin fawns slowly past our windows.
The unexpected moment came when she bedded them down, one at a time, beneath small trees near the back fence. Then she left.
What a marvelous turn of events we got to witness: a mother’s natural instincts kicking in when something out of the ordinary was happening. It’s probable she thought night was arriving prematurely that day, but because of the early hour, she was not in her usual evening location.
Perhaps somewhat disoriented, she did the best she could to protect her babies, leaving them for a while to offer even greater safety. They could more easily be camouflaged if she were not in the vicinity.
As you can imagine, Hooshang and I kept tabs on the situation, and sure enough, as soon as the eclipse ended, Mama Deer returned, and just like that, the trio was gone.
Multiple lessons were learned that day, some bigger than others, but all important.
First off, the precise sizes and distances of the Earth, sun and moon are essential for the magic of solar eclipses. Any significant changes in these factors would alter the alignment, making such celestial dances less spectacular. To explain the perfect hide-and-seek phenomena, some people seek answers in the laws of physics; others glimpse the Divine. I’m in the latter category.
Mama Deer and her twins also taught me that, many times, to enjoy nature, one has to pause in one’s daily life and step back, giving Nature the chance to leisurely offer her marvels. I have several such memories that I like to revisit. Hopefully, you do, too. Here are a few that bring me joy:
My vacation to Arkansas: Albert Pike Recreation Area with my friend Rhonda Jones Vardeman. It’s the only time in my life that I spent the night in a tent – and it rained. But the next day, the sun was out again, and Rhonda and I made our way to the top of a huge boulder that overlooks the meandering Little Missouri River.
The boulder, known as Big Rock, provided the perfect place to perch above the rapids. The rock itself gathered just enough warmth from the sun to provide a natural spa-like setting, and distant laughter and shouts drifted upward as thrill-seekers tubed their way past. I can still feel the warmth of the rock on my back as I lay down, fully embracing the tranquility of the entire experience.
Then there are the moments with Hooshang: Standing on the cliff in Crystal Cove State Park in California, watching silently as the orange-tinged sun dropped centimeter by centimeter into the Pacific. Sitting on a bench on the hill above the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, reveling in what must have been thousands of fireflies lighting up the tree-infused space below the Promenade.
At least one thing applies equally in all of these treasured memories. We took the time to relish them. We stepped outside our normal routine to greet nature up close and personal, in leisurely fashion.
Indeed, as we journey through life, it’s these unscripted scenes that often resonate the deepest. So take a moment, step outside, and let nature’s serenade guide you to its wonders.

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Thomas FieldsThomas “Tuffy” Fields is an author and regular contributor to The Gazette. He can …

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