How We Eclipse

When it’s Eclipse weekend and we live in the path of totality…

…and your home parish’s feast day falls on Eclipse day…

…you go to an Eclipse party where you introduce your kids to a teeter totter (the real kind)…

Eclipse 1

…and tug of war… (they lost, if you didn’t catch that)…

Eclipse 2 tug of war

…and Mom gives herself a concussion on the slip ‘n slide. (I’m only sort of kidding about that. I went down hard and banged the back of my head on the ground but the pain was all in the front, and it was hard to focus the rest of the day.)…

Eclipse 3 slip n slide

…and merry-go-rounds. (Nicholas’ reaction: hold out a shaking hand and say, “Grandma, can you help me off?” Michael’s reaction: <giggle giggle> “That was AWESOME!”)

Eclipse 4 merry go round

A short night, spent worrying about whether it will be cloudy and we’ll see nothing at all, and my company arrives: my uncle and my cousin whom I used to babysit when I was Alex’s age.

Eclipse 5 compadres

We spend the morning putting together a picnic and then head out to the park.

Total Eclipse 14 food

And the SLR takes a bow before taking center stage:


Eclipse 7Eclipse 8

It is cloudy and getting cloudier all the time, but the sun is strong enough to overcome it. Most of the time. Still, with the glasses on sometimes it fades unexpectedly as heavier clouds drift across.

Eclipse 9 clouds

Two minutes before totality, it’s finally feeling darker. Thirty seconds out, the light becomes pale and cold, without the warm tones, almost fluorescent. And then…totality.

Eclipse 10 totality

Everyone whoops. No picture can quite capture the moment, the clarity, the wonder.

Eclipse 11 totality

Yes, the streetlights come on, and the sky around the thunderheads surrounding us is yellow. I’m fiddling with the camera, trying to catch the right setting, and then I see it: the diamond. “It’s coming, guys, it’s coming!” I shout.

Eclipse 12 diamond

…and just like that, there’s light again.

Eclipse 13 emergence

Within 5 minutes, an enormous, heavy cloud rolls over the sun, obscuring the eclipse for the next 15 minutes. “Wow, was that ever a close call,” we say. But we saw what we came for, and it was amazing. I always thought it would be cool, but not worth traveling for. Now, I understand.