• Karen Heckman Stork

The Long-Awaited Solar Eclipse

Updated: Sep 8, 2017

Quote of the Day: For one minute, walk outside, stand there in silence, look up at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is. — Unknown

This is what many of us in the path of totality did recently when we observed the solar eclipse of August 21, which tracked all across the state of Nebraska. The highways of Nebraska were filled with cars traveling to find the best vantage point. The weather was not perfect with thin, wispy clouds partially blocking the sun.

Despite the less than ideal weather, I was enthralled and mesmerized by this once-in-a-lifetime event. In the peaceful countryside, I lay on my back, eclipse glasses securely fastened, to take in the entire phenomenon of approximately one hour and 22 minutes from beginning until totality. I observed the moon pass between the earth and the sun.

Beginning on the upper right edge of the sun, I watched breathlessly as its surface seemingly melted away into a smaller and smaller crescent shape. It was 1:00 p.m., just two minutes to totality when our eclipse glasses could come off and the corona would appear. I took off my glasses, looked away and waited for the instant of totality at 1:02.

But when that time arrived, heavy clouds had appeared and no totality could be seen. However, darkness descended, the wind stilled and a solemn hush fell. An owl screeched in the distance and crickets chirped nearby. I was filled with awe at God’s wonder as I watched sunset hues of coral, lavender and pink emerge along the horizon. Even without the magnificence of totality, it felt almost like a mystical experience. It was truly a coming-together moment that united everyone who observed it. For a brief couple of minutes we were all part of something greater than our individual ideas and beliefs that so often separate us. Let us remember this feeling of togetherness and that we are more alike than we are different.

Action for the Week: Take a walk with no ear phones, no distractions. Listen and appreciate the beauty and sounds of nature.

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