Joy and Certainty by Craig Fuller


Seems like the certainty of experiencing a joyful moment has been in short supply in recent months. Perhaps this explains why so many of us were moved as we experienced the total solar eclipse this week.

While many experienced it in groups and crowds (the NEW YORK TIMES captured some great examples)  others watched with a few friends and family. Our choice was to travel to the Tred Avon River, anchor and enjoy lunch while experiencing the eclipse over about two hours. Yes, my wife and I had the special glasses and watching was part of the experience. But, so was feeling the breeze cool and the river gets a little darker.

The whole event was more moving than I expected and more of a national experience based on the extensive news coverage than I would have imagined.

As I thought about this, it struck me that thanks to science we had been told what would happen, when it would happen and where it would happen. And, it happened just the way we’d been told. And, that simply no longer happens very often!

Then, there was a pull to actually go experience it. This was a case where just watching on television was not going to be sufficient. So, people flew and drove to areas where the eclipse would be total and we marveled at how the last time people stood (or, in our case floated) and shared the experience was in 1918.

All of these factors combined to make a moment simply joyful. Whether watching alone or amidst hundreds, even thousands, a joyful moment moved millions to smile, cheer and, I suspect, reflect on a few universal thoughts.

As we returned, my thoughts went to how in these very uncertain times one still finds certainty and joyful moments are available to be cherished. Whether dining with friends or a loved one; or, enjoying the greeting you get from a dog when you enter the house; or, just watching a sunrise or sunset here in Talbot County, these moments are certain to bring a measure of joy. I pledged to myself to be more mindful about seeing the joy in each day if only to provide more balance to the chaos and uncertainty that visits us.

Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.

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