Having recently viewed a total solar eclipse I have been thinking about the experience. What it was like to observe first hand a truly incredible spectacle of nature? A total solar eclipse is about as dramatic an event our world can produce.
This is not my first total solar eclipse, but that first eclipse was back in 1979, occurring 38 years ago, my memories dimmed by the passage of time. This event is still bright in my mind, the memories bolstered by numerous photographs and a couple video records.
The experience was astonishing. For the first thirty seconds or so I simply sat in amazement, observing the eclipse and the world around me. Despite old memories and numerous photos I was still amazed by the sight. I knew what was coming, but I was to some extent unprepared for the sight before me. Eventually I gathered my thoughts and took some photos before the fleeting moments of totality expired.
In these modern times we rarely encounter a natural phenomena we are completely unprepared for. Prior to the event we have seen photographs or video, read descriptions from others. We generally know what we are about to encounter beforehand, or at least have a name and a cause we can understand when caught by surprise.
Imagine if that was not the case, consider seeing a total solar eclipse when you have never seen one, never even heard of such a thing, and do not know something is about to happen.