Sunday, August 20, 2017


   When our house was nearly new, I experienced an annular solar eclipse--not full but partial, in the 80-some percentage range. It wasn't any more publicized than the passage of the space station overhead, as I recall.
   It began as I was sipping morning coffee in an easy chair by the wall of windows in my living room. Mysteriously, colors of the world around me seemed to be intensifying, as if a giant hand was slowly lowering the bowl of sky down onto my own small chunk of world; and suddenly it seemed I was INSIDE that sky.
   The etched-glass entry door began to shoot a universe of prisms into the room in which I sat. I walked out onto the deck, and above me on the roof, every bit of fiberglass had turned to prisms too.
   I had to sit; the change was tinkering with my balance and perspective. I watched as all the morning motions of the springtime birds picked up speed progressively, and the change and depth of daylight colors deepened.
   Then as if by signal, the birds---seemingly-choreographed---settled down into the trees to roost, sitting quietly for who-knows-how-long, as an intense and incredible twilight established its growing presence in our enclosed valley world.
   It was mystic, utter quiet, so hypnotic. I actually resented the intrusive sound of one heavy truck descending and ascending the steepness of the valley road along our property. How long was it was before things normalized? I couldn't say. Like the birds, I had relaxed into a trance that did not lift until the shadow of the moon released the sun. 
   The bowl of sky encapsulating me was lifted too, as things came back to normal on that May day. I did not once attempt to find a place to look into the sun itself; I didn't need to. I witnessed and became a part of the effect.

AFTER NOTE:THAT ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE OF May 10, 1994 occurred because the Moon had passed between the Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. 
Annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring). 
An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. The path of annularity on May 1994 crossed Baja California, Mexico, the United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia.