I left my family and flew from Canada to South Carolina to witness the total solar eclipse. It did not disappoint!
Having experienced my first Total Eclipse, I’m in awe, as in speechless. Like with being in love, to understand its effect, it must be experienced. My descriptions won’t do it justice. I’m going to write about it anyhow in attempt to persuade you to get yourself on the path of the next eclipse in North America in 2024.
Unofficial, Unprofessional Observations of a Total Solar Eclipse:
- Blackout Shades: You won’t believe how dark the sunglasses are that you need to buy to see the sun during the partial eclipse. If someone is hold 3 fingers in front of your face, you won’t even see so much as the outline of their hand.
- Bizarre Brightness: While the sun is partially eclipsed by the moon, it still shines so bright that without the sunglasses, you wouldn’t know that the day or the rays were any different.
- Strange Shapes: Even when the sun was covered 99% and there was but the smallest sliver of sun shining, the day still seemed bright. But the clouds started to take on strange shapes – angular shapes. The sky, the clouds, the shadows all looked more intense.
- Runny Rainbows: Seconds before the total eclipse, there was a rainbow in the clouds, not in the shape of an arc, but a luminous, undefined shape. It was almost as if someone cracked open an egg on the sun, and the runny yolk was the rainbow surrounding the sun. (See image)
- Casting Doubt: For the seconds leading up to when the sun was fully shaded by the moon, you are held in a suspension of disbelief wondering if anything different was truly going to happen. It is so confusing to see (through the dark sunglasses) that the sun is 99% covered, and still feel it’s warmth, and still believe that we are seconds away from something spectacular.
- Disco Ball: Then almost suddenly, though you’ve been waiting for it for hours, days, and in my case months, it happens. What used to be the sun is the black spherical object hovering in the sky, surrounded by what I can only describe as throbbing short, silver wavy-whiskers. It was like a disco ball, but if the ball were 2-dimensional, the center was black, and it was edged in mirrors.
- Nighttime Sky & Sounds: The sky was dark, as if it were nighttime. Planets and stars shone brightly. We were on the beach so the sounds of the waves crashing against the ocean (or was it the sounds of the cheers from the crowds) drowned out any animal noises, but people were hooting and hollering throughout the full duration (2 minutes) of the total eclipse, blackout mayhem.
For the brief 2 minutes in time, it felt like we were living on a different planet. Never but in a full solar eclipse can you look to the sky and see a black moon with a silver rim glistening amongst clouds. It was eerie. It was surreal.
What was so profound to me though, so revealing, was that in those seconds of losing light, you saw the stars. The stars and planets didn’t just appear. They were always there!!!
Now maybe I’m dense, and maybe it’s just me, but never before did I appreciate that the stars and planets are always there in the sky. At times we can’t see them from the brilliance of the sun or the cover of the clouds, but they are there. OF COURSE it makes sense now. But I didn’t realize it until then. And what’s even more significant is the powerful parallel it has to God, our Loving Creator.
God is ALWAYS there, looking over us, looking after us…even when we are blinded by the light! We are never alone!
How awesomely awe-inspiring is that? Feeling God’s presence. What better reason is there to get yourself on the path of totality in 2024?! I hope to see you there.