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  • Writer's pictureR.F. Hurteau

The Great American Eclipse—A Flash…Nonfiction?

Did you get to experience the Great American Eclipse in 2017?  My family and I took a road trip to Tennessee and camped out to view it in all its Glory.  It ended up being one of the most awesome two minutes of my life, and something I am so thankful we got the opportunity to do.  Neither words nor pictures can describe the way those few moments of totality made me feel, but here is my weak attempt at describing the day, as written directly afterward.

The temperature dipped markedly and the cicadas’ songs quieted, replaced by the excited chatter of a hundred families, all eagerly awaiting the big moment. Rows of cars lined the parking lot, dotted with license plates showing just how many people were brought together for this event. People passed us, stealing glances of the shrinking sun from behind protective glasses. Children let out gasps of delight as they searched the sky until the crescent appeared through their lenses. For many, this would be a once in a lifetime event.

An hour and a half after the first sliver of sun disappeared behind the moon, the park reached a fever pitch. Voices rose as families gathered their children from the playground, calling them together, passing out their glasses. We tried to find a good spot for a picture, but instead settled for a park bench at the last moment.

There was a moment of awed silence as the world was suddenly plunged into darkness. People took off their glasses to stare at the surreal spectacle above. Then people began crying out in astonishment. Gasps and whoops and clapping filled the park. For two and a half minutes, a ring of delicate rays of light were all the evidence there was that the sun was indeed still in the sky.

And then, as suddenly as it had begun, it was over.

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