Since the solar eclipse is what everyone has been talking about all day, I decided to go along with the crowd and write about my experience today. I’ve heard it called a once-in-a-lifetime event, and for many people that is probably true. However, I remember the last solar eclipse, in February 1979. I was nine years old and in the third grade.
What I remember the most about it was the stern warnings not to look at it or we’d go blind. I can’t remember if we had solar eclipse glasses or not. I do remember my class (and probably the whole school) going outside to experience it. It was a very momentous occasion.
This time around, I didn’t get into all the hoopla about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not nine years old any more, or if it’s because I have very weighty issues on my mind these days. Perhaps it’s because the second time a once-in-a-lifetime event happens it’s just not as spectacular as the first time. Whatever the reason, I had low expectations going into it, so I shouldn’t have been as disappointed as I was.
I realize that if I had solar eclipse glasses through which to view it, I probably would have been more excited about it and enjoyed it much more. I guess I should have put forth a little effort into getting some, but as I said above, I have some very weighty issues on my mind, and solar eclipse glasses just weren’t high enough on the priority list.
I was hoping that my current location would be ideal for experiencing the astronomical phenomenon, but it ended up not being anything special. It didn’t even get dark. It got dusky, and the chickens came back to the coop, thinking it was bed time. Below are two photos that were taken in about the same place. The first was taken an hour or so before the eclipse, and the second was taken when the sky was at its darkest. As you can see, there wasn’t a huge difference.