©2020 by Ralph Schudel

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    • Ralph Schudel

    The Solar Eclipse


    I now can sit down and talk about something that has interested me a great deal, The Solar Eclipse. I've had a couple of days to reflect on the experience and collect my thoughts so I can sit down and bring them to you.

    We haven't seen something like this in 38 years in the United States and North America. A good number of us were able to experience the eclipse with 100% totally or complete darkness, while some of us experienced the eclipse with 90% totality and as little as 60%.

    If you are bummed that you didn't make the pilgrimage to experience 100% totality, believe it or not we have to wait just seven years for the next one to occur in the United States.

    Here is the trajectory for 2024:

    Let me take you back to this past Sunday. My family was preparing an afternoon snack and we began talking about the upcoming eclipse.

    My father was really excited for this event and it was strange because he doesn't usually get excited about these things.

    He went out the day prior and got eclipse glasses from the local grocery store. The store was running a promotion that if you purchased a twelve pack of soda; you could receive a pair of glasses. He bought three packs of soda.

    My reaction looked something like this:

    I wasn't very excited for the eclipse until I saw this video. At the conclusion, my anticipation for the eclipse skyrocketed as I braced for the event.

    I began to beg and barter with my old man for a coveted pair of his eclipse glasses. After much lobbying I was successful in my negotiations and I grabbed my new pair of eclipse glasses and headed home.

    Monday arrived and I hadn't slept very well but I was excited and that kept me going for the day. The eclipse was hours away and the anticipation had begun to creep in. My hometown and the nation were captivated by the phenomenon.

    It was the top story from every local news affiliate and each network was pimping their "once in a lifetime" eclipse coverage.

    Finally, the moment was here. I turned the television on around 1pm and tuned into the coverage on ABC. I was greeted by anchor David Muir.

    They began coverage of the eclipse out west in Oregon and followed the path of the eclipse until it got closer to me. Unfortunately we didn't experience 100% totality or complete darkness like some of the nation but what we did get to see was the moon passing over the sun and that was pretty cool.

    Honestly, it was a scene unlike anything I had previously experienced. In situations like these I tend to get a bit existential.

    I began to realize just how small we are in the world and the universe is truly bigger than any of us. That was a cool feeling to experience.

    Another thought that crept into my head was that for a few moments the nation seemingly stopped what they were doing and looked at the sun and forgot about the problems we face.

    I know that doesn't sound like a tremendous feat but given the racial tension and unrest in America lately, it was kind of neat for everyone to put their differences aside for a few minutes and just experience the moment uninterrupted.

    It didn't matter what your nationality, religion, or your upbringing. Everyone was able to appreciate the moment together.

    Plus we rediscovered our love for Bonnie Tyler.


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