Unless you live in rocks, chances are you’ve heard about the Solar Eclipse that swept across America on Monday, August 21st, the day the Sun disappeared for more than two minutes, from Portland, OR all the way to Charleston, SC. Probably you were one in the crowds with the solar glasses on and stared at the sky waiting for the magic moment of totality. Yes, we were too!
It is being called the “Great America Eclipse” for a reason, it hadn’t happened in 99 years! Last time the total eclipse occurred on June 8th, 1918 crossing the States from Washington to Florida. Since this was my first time to witness a solar eclipse, I was determined to scratch this off my bucket list.
Thanks for the modern technology, an app, Eclipse2017, calculated for me the starting times of Partial Eclipse and Total Eclipse to the accuracy of seconds. After careful study, we chose Fort Loudoun State Historic Park in Vonore, TN as our viewing site. The park was surrounded with lakes and it gave about two and half minute of totality, and it was within 200-mile radius, three-hour drive from us.
I was impressed by how organized and orderly the Park was in despite of the fact it was packed with people and cars. People from all over the country came to see the eclipse, we met people from Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, even Connecticut.
The partial eclipse started 1:04, you would notice no difference if not looking at the telescope or staring at the Sun. Everyone in the park put on their solar glasses and looked up to the Sun. What a wonder! The Sun looked like a Pac-Man been eaten up a tiny chunk.
Then the rest of the hour and half went by eventless, people chatting and having picnic on the lawn, the sky slowly but surely getting grayer, it was kind of weird quer. Even with 99% of the Sun blocked by the Moon, we still can’t look at the Sun with our naked eyes. Then it happened, the Sun was completely blocked by the Moon, all visible was the halo of the corona of the Sun!
This was the MOMENTS we’ve been waiting for, I took off my solar glasses, gaped at the Sun, the time seemed stopped! Loud cheer of the crowd, I joined them, screaming from the top of my lung! Excitement, yes! Fear, definitely! In awe, you bet!
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the Moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human being that you care for them?”
We got two and half minutes totality. Before the Sun was swiped away, we heard loud chirping of crickets, we saw flock of birds frantically flutter by, i could hear my heart pondering as if to jump out of my chest! Theoretically i knew there was nothing to worry about, the sun would shine back in a minute, but I felt the unspeakable panic, i could actually imagine the end of the world might look like this, with no turning back… I was on autopilot aiming my camera to the Sun and shoot; if it was not for the pre-set setting on my camera I would have missed the whole photographying, I was too dumbfound to think of anything!!
What an unforgettable experience! Everyone should watch a solar eclipse totality at least once in one’s lifetime. I realized how helplessly trivial and significant I was in His omnipotent presence! Yet He loves me just the same! The amazing grace!