Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"Hi. I'm Aiden. Are you ready to watch the solar eclipse on June 10th? ..."

My only total eclipse experience was on August 21, 2017.  I hope to be able to see one in the future, if at all possible, and am grateful to have lived long enough to see one within driving distance of my home in northwest Washington State.  On August 20, 2017, I drove across the Cascade mountain range to Wenatchee, Washington, and stayed overnight there.  On August 21, I woke up at 2 a.m. (just a hour earlier than I usually wake up) and drove from Wenatchee to Fossil, Oregon, for the extraordinary experience of a total eclipse. As I had hoped, there were few cars on the road during my journey to and from the eclipse because I chose to travel through the sparsely inhabited parts of Washington State and Oregon.

I'm wondering which readers have witnessed a total eclipse.  Until the moment of totality, I had no idea how physically and emotionally startling and sublime that moment would be.


Annie Dillard:

"I had seen a partial eclipse in 1970. A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse."  

"Abruptly it was dark night, on the land and in the sky. In the night sky was a tiny ring of light. The hole where the sun belongs is very small. A thin ring of light marked its place."


Here's my total eclipse mandala from 2017


Sabine said...

I hope you will be able to see this one. We are getting ready, the sky is clear, the birds are still singing.
The last eclipse I was able to watch was in - I think - 1998 right after lunch. I was cycling home from work through the park where thousands of schoolkids were sitting, waiting with their special glasses on and I was trying to spot my daughter in the crowd (she would have hated me finding her at that time, she was 15) when suddenly, all the birds went silent, it got somewhat, but not fully dark. I didn't have any eye protection and kept searching the crowd for my daughter's face and awe, but failed, and then it was over, the birds started their racket and flew up from where they had been sheltering and the thousands of school kids started their noises and I cycled on home.

am said...

Sabine -- I'm happy to know that you and R will be seeing a partial eclipse today and that your daughter saw one as a teenager. Interesting to look at a map on Google and see the egg-shaped boundary of where the eclipse is visible. We are out of range here but I am live streaming it on YouTube and looking forward to watching what is posted on YouTube by those who are in the path of totality. After my total eclipse experience in 2017, I watched numerous YouTube videos of the minutes just before and during totality. Although it was not even close visually and viscerally to the experience of being there physically, the awed and celebratory voices at the moment of totality were exactly as I remembered them. All over the world, no matter what language was being spoken, the emotional quality of the voices was the same.

ellen abbott said...

I've seen several partial solar eclipses and at least one full as I recall.