I called it the Eclipse of Trips, because we never actually intended to chase the Great American Total Eclipse. It was never a part of the plan, back three months ago when we decided to list our home for sale and hit the road in a travel trailer for two months. It is a trip we have always dreamt of, taking our family on an extended road trip to the Pacific Northwest, where my husband spent three years as a young boy, and where he took me to on our honeymoon.
We were shocked when our realtor gave us a number on a home. We knew the Colorado market was thriving, but this was truly a gift from God, an opportunity to move closer to our church—but only after we took advantage of another opportunity—our dream trip.
Never before have we not been tied down by a mortgage or a job, as my husband left his work and transitioned to self employment earlier this year. We knew we couldn’t pass this opportunity up. We would leave early July. Only that date came and went, and we remained nowhere near the ocean. Our house contract fell through two days before the sale, and my heart sunk with the thought that our trip might not happen.
But then the Colorado housing market came through for us again (And God, of course), and we were under contract within a few days. We set a new date for our departure—August 16. It was the soonest we could leave. Ironically, it fell within the same few days of what the country was calling “The largest migration in our nation’s history”. While we packed up our life, bought a travel trailer, and set our eyes to the ocean—over a million others were hitting the road also, with the same destination in mind, to catch the Solar Eclipse of a lifetime. An Eclipse of Trips, indeed.
Timing is a funny thing, isn’t it? It constantly leaves me in a curious state, as to why things happen at certain times. Why delays and detours in plans and setbacks occur. Some, I’m sure, are happen chance. Others, I’m convinced, hold a very important job in our life story. Even if we never learn what that job was. I trust delays and changes of plan often hold a purpose.
For two days we traveled before pulling into our resting place—an organic farm owned by dear friends of ours. After a blur of days and so much change—selling our home, moving into a 100-square foot space with our three children, our car breaking down in the fast lane of the highway somewhere in the middle of Idaho, and too many meals on the road, we were ready to rest and visit for a day. And it was sweet. But time was ticking and people were hitting the road. We had to, also, if we wanted any chance of getting ahead of the countless Eclipse Seekers,
We were excited to be on our last long stretch of driving for a while, and even more excited to run into very little traffic as we made our approach upon the Pacific. After fifteen hundred miles of sage brush and stocky pine, we finally came upon moss-covered trees reaching high to the heavens. The ones my husband grew up playing beneath, and the ones we have longed to introduce our children to. Four days after leaving home, we pulled up to the shore of the Pacific just in time for sunset.
If this trip has taught me one thing already in the first week, it is to not waste angst on concerns of timing. Preparing for our journey, my worries stemmed from the unknowns of how time would work out the details of our trip, or if it would. I think I do this a lot in life. I think a lot of us do. We seek to control time, when ultimately it is out of our hands, and that’s ok. Because it is in the hands of the Author of time, and He cares deeply about the details of our stories, and the desires of our hearts. He created time, and us to fill it.
The truth is, wherever we found ourselves on August 21st, whether set up in our trailer next to the Pacific, or in a Walmart parking lot, the sun would be shining. And then covered. And then brilliant again. We would make it to the ocean. And we would experience it all together. I began this trip seeing the Total Eclipse as a bit of a nuisance–a snag in our plans that we had been making for months–dreaming of for years. And yet, as we stood as a family upon a hill top next o the Pacific ocean, and watched the moon float completely over the sun for a few miraculous moments–it was one of the most stunning experiences of my life. In fact, it froze time for me, for one minute and forty-five seconds, this grand display of perfect timing by the Maker of the heavens.