Our whole family, all thirteen of us, met in central Oregon for the solar eclipse, and since then, I’ve wanted to write about the experience. A week later, I still can’t find the words I want. One of our sons had scouted out a beautiful, open field in a park for a prime viewing location and we arrived early, spread blankets and pillows on the grass, got our eclipse glasses out and sat back, waiting for the show.  Before long, the upper right hand side of the sun appeared to have had a tiny bite carved from it — and as we watched, it grew larger and larger until the sun became a crescent, like a child’s drawing of the moon. Half covered. Then three-quarters. Unlike a normal sunset, everything around us, in all directions, was bathed in a strange, supernatural color. Eventually, the sun became a narrow sliver of light on the lower left side and while it was unmistakably beautiful, I wondered if this was what we had driven seven hours to see.  Then suddenly, breathtakingly…………..totality. The sky darkened and the temperature dropped. I put on a jacket.  We took off our eclipse glasses and stars were visible. The sun had become an intense, thin ring of flame surrounding a perfect, dark circle.  People gasped. They cheered. They burst into tears. I held my breath, not wanting the moment to be over and at the same time, terrified it might never end, that the world as I knew it, would be forever plunged into this eerie daytime darkness. Then came the “diamond ring” and while the band of flame remained, a bright, blinding flash appeared on the lower right side. “Glasses on!” someone shouted, and shaking ourselves from our trancelike states, we obeyed. Not anything I had heard or read ahead of time, had prepared me. Last Monday, I saw the sun turn into a ring of fire and nothing is the same.



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