I decided to pick up a last-minute shift on Saturday at the cannabis clinic where I work per diem. I woke up that morning feeling particularly bummed because I remembered the eclipse was occurring that morning, over the same time I would be working. I pouted for a bit, kicking myself for picking up extra work when I could instead be outside, enjoying a beautiful fall day and looking for the moon to pass the sun so perfectly. It only happens once every how many years?
I carried on with my morning, arriving at work, saying hello to the clinic staff, and making small talk about today's eclipse. I entered my office and felt gratitude for realizing my exam room had a window to the sun; how lucky, I thought. I started seeing patients, and just before the 10 o'clock hour, I began to notice shade where there was once sunshine. The eclipse was starting. Against all warnings and my medical knowledge, I looked to the sun and saw a glimpse of the eclipse but soon felt my eyes blinded by the light. Probably shouldn't do that, I thought. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't take the day off. I wouldn't have been able to see much of the sun anyway without the "special" paper glasses that make you look like you're a 3rd grader ready to watch Spy Kids in 3-D at the movie theater.
The front desk staff notified me that the next patient was ready and mentioned I would enjoy seeing him. I couldn't tell if this was sarcasm or a genuine thought that I would appreciate this patient. My front desk staff does have a sarcastic sense of humor. Nevertheless, my 10 o'clock patient stepped in; we'll call him Jerry, and low and behold, Jerry was wearing the special eclipse glasses! We geeked out for a moment together, and I offered to let him sit next to me so he could look out the window while we had our visit. He offered to let me look through his glasses, and with probably too much excitement, I said yes. Beautiful. I could actually see the eclipse, the moon gliding so smoothly over the sun, and I could appreciate the shadows it created with the help of the glasses.
He mentioned that his family was traveling to southern Utah that morning to see the complete eclipse, but he had forgotten about this appointment and decided to keep the visit rather than travel. I asked if he was bummed, but he told me he "doesn't sweat the small stuff."
We continued our visit; he was renewing his medical cannabis card for a cancer diagnosis. He informed me that he just completed his treatment for bladder cancer and was in something close to remission, now just needing to complete maintenance treatments every three months. Bladder cancer is a progressive and relentless form of cancer, and this man was only in his 40s. He shared with me how his cancer treatments had gone and the side effects of nausea, decreased appetite, weight loss, and pain that he experienced during them, emphasizing how happy he was to be done with the bulk of his therapy. He felt so lucky to be in the position he was in. I felt tears well in my eyes as he shared this with me. We also discussed his mental health and how he was faring in this regard. He shared that his cancer diagnosis, while unfortunate, had given him a new outlook, and he was, in fact, grateful for this. He continues to work with a therapist routinely and recognizes that some days are tougher than others, but overall, he felt he was doing well. We carried on the visit and renewed his card. As I brought him to the front desk to get him checked out, I realized my next patient had canceled. After he checked out, I decided to walk Jerry to the parking lot. A few of the front desk staff joined us as well, and we viewed the rest of the eclipse together.
I asked him again if he wished he had traveled down south with his family to better see the eclipse, but he again mentioned "not sweating the small stuff." He was happy to get his appointment done and be able to share the views with us. He told me about Universal alignment and how some believe this eclipse is the result of a perfectly made Universe and that even events that happen in our day-to-day lives result from perfect Universal design. We are precisely where we are meant to be. How we choose to look at life makes all the meaning.
Had I not been working this clinic shift, I would not have gained a beautiful perspective from an incredibly resilient man nor seen the eclipse so perfectly with my own eyes. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I thanked the Universe for its perfect design.