David Trinko: Shedding some light on our shared darkness

At about 3:10 p.m. Monday, I suspect most of us will be doing the same thing, together.

We’ll look up at the sky and see the moon completely blocking the sun for the first time in Ohio since 1806. This total solar eclipse won’t happen again until 2099.

As someone who treasures saying, “I haven’t seen that before,” I’m looking forward to it. I’m downright giddy about it, which isn’t a term generally associated with my down-the-middle, generally unexcited personality.

I’m looking forward to the three-plus minutes of darkness where we can all look up and share in a wonder of the universe, without giving credit or blame to anyone elected. I won’t underestimate the oddity of dusk-like conditions starting around 1:55 p.m. before returning to normal light at 4:25 p.m.

I anticipate a few awe-filled moments of silence, when I plan to say a quick prayer to thank God for this and all his wondrous creation.

This is a moment to unite us in joy.

I know people around here are tired of hearing about the swarms of people anticipated in the region, which could double our population to share in those 3 minutes, 50 seconds of totality here in Lima and as much as 3:56 near Kenton.

Yes, many of the main roads will likely get congested afterward. Yes, we’ll test the capacity of our mobile phone towers and become frustrated if it fails. Yes, the introduction of this many visitors will push the limits of our service industry and increase our wait times.

Still, I see this weekend as an opportunity to share with people not familiar with our vast flatlands about why I like living here. We can roll out our welcome mats and show them our laid-back ways, our deliciously rich foods and our willingness to just have fun.

Many of us chose to live here in Northwest Ohio. As a whole, I like the people here, and we can have interesting dialogue without some of the harshness I witnessed when I lived near Washington, D.C. People here generally look out for one another and want everyone to have a fair chance at succeeding.

I’ve really appreciated seeing the names created to commemorate this celestial oddity. Whether it’s the Solar Smash Bash in Lima on Saturday, the Ring of Fire Fest all weekend in Wapakoneta or ArtSpace/Lima’s Dancing in the Moonlight on Monday, it’s refreshing to see people get creative.

Businesses have certainly joined in on the fun. J Marie’s in downtown Wapakoneta will serve Moontinis. Well Grounded Cafe in Ottawa has its Stardust Mocha and Moon Pie Latte.

Krave Hometown Creamery in Wapakoneta really outdid itself with the names. Its limited-time slate includes Solar Flare, Lunar Lavendar, Midnight Moon, Blue Moon, Celestial Swirl, Total Eclipse, Eclipse Delight and Eclipse Espresso Crunch.

While their names might not be quite as imaginative, the creations for Happy Daz’s Cosmically Cool Brownie Daz-aster, Beth’s Bakery in Wapakoneta’s Solar Eclipse Cutouts and Pete’s Ice Cream in Shawnee Township’s Eclipse Sundae look delicious. They show our region’s willingness to step up and deliver the fun.

If you’re a visitor, welcome to our neck of the woods. We hope you feel welcome while you’re here.

If you’re a native who’s left, welcome back. We hope you remember what a great place this is.

If you’re a resident, try to put a smile on your face and remember this odd weekend fondly. The sun will come up Tuesday morning, and I hear it won’t hide behind the moon again for a long time.


See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.