The moon came to me on Columbus Avenue

The moon came to me on Columbus Avenue

Maybe we should’ve driven across town to see 100% totality instead of the 99.84% of the eclipse we did see. But the air was filled with sweet-smelling spring, and the residents of Columbus Avenue spilled slowly out of their homes on an April afternoon.

Up and down the street, we could hear voices laughing, folks looking up, and a togetherness filled my heart like on no other day since we moved here. Up until this day, people had kept to themselves.

It felt like home.

I’d been feeling some sort of way all last week. Tension, pressure and odd electrical emotion had been coursing through me. Some nights I lay down to sleep and my heart beat so rapidly I couldn’t settle. A malaise had spread through me to the point I felt sick. We hibernated over the weekend to calm down whatever we were feeling.

George left for work on eclipse day, a slightly wet Monday morning. I left for some errands and came home to blazing sunshine and blue skies. I baked a yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting and made supper to leave on the stove (I’m sorry, it’ll always be supper to me) so I could enjoy the eclipse and not think about anything else.

I turned the music up while I was working, no podcasts, and began to sing and dance around my kitchen. I could feel all the tension leaving my body as I searched for that edge, that elusive edge we all need for our bones to feel at home in our bodies — the one that releases the pent-up emotions of a season of life that’s been hard or emotional.

Energy. It’s abundant around any eclipse, lest we forget the moon’s gravitational pull controls the very high and low tides of the ocean. How could it not affect us in the same way? For the last six months, I’ve felt tossed and turned in every way until my body needed some sort of release, despite the comfort it had in a new home.

There are always negative energies that need surrounded by positive energies.

“And the negative energy, I figure being around positive folks negates that,” a very wise friend said to me. “The young ones are still learning (as we all should be), but they’ve not yet learned how to surround themselves with the good. Instead they look for monsters in the closet.”

She invited us to sit with them in downtown Canton to watch the eclipse, maybe even to beat a drum as the crowds gathered, but something was keeping me home. Maybe it was knowing this eclipse would help me release any notions I held about my new neighborhood, anything I was holding on to. Maybe I was still holding on to my old house, the one where all the memories lay piled up in my mind, and needed to let that go.

I needed to feel free to feel free here.

It’s funny how humans cling to the past instead of embracing the future. I’ve been feeling as if I haven’t yet found my purpose in this move, the possible new things I’ll do. I needed to lay down the notion that it’s too late for me, that I’ve reached my zenith. The moon never feels that it just keeps climbing millennia after millennia.

George came home in time, and we sat on our front stoop, glasses firmly on our heads, and drank a beer as the eclipse neared. The camaraderie of the moment and the particular feeling of people around us felt seared into our souls, and we kept mentioning it as the sky slowly darkened and the moon covered the sun.

And I let go of it all, standing under a darkened sun, releasing it to the pull of the moon.

Melissa Herrera is a published author and opinion columnist. She is a curator of vintage mugs and all things spooky, and her book, “TOÑO LIVES,” can be found at For inquiries, to purchase her book or anything else on your mind, email her at or find her in the thrift aisles.

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