The moon and I have had our go-rounds for several years now, making me more than an observer of umbra. Living in the darkest times that a life can cast upon you makes you more than an observer or a student of the subject: it makes you; it breaks you; it calms you and twists you; it shifts your awareness and perspective, your consciousness and understanding. In the end, you realize your spirit has went through a total eclipse as you slowly start floating into penumbra, a lighter shade of the same shadow. And you feel the symptoms easing up, and life shifting closer to some kind of normalcy.
Of course, the things that happen in life do not altogether coincide with an eclipse. Some of them do, and the effects stay with you as they change you and change your life forever: personal eclipses that have had their start in the cosmos.
The moon and I, we've had our go-rounds, for sure, umbra being more than a metaphor for it. I think of it as a phase in this life-cycle, and am feeling it shift now to penumbra.