*This story was originally published in "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder", a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
The solar eclipse.
People here and there, near and far, and miles upon miles apart get to glimpse the solar eclipse in totality.
As the day of the solar eclipse rapidly approached, I decided to spend some time researching the event and was pleasantly surprised to learn some interesting facts. Most calendar years, those that have three hundred and sixty-five days, contain two solar eclipses, and the most that can possibly take place in the same calendar year is five. But the main reason they are so special is because it takes almost three hundred and seventy-five years for a total solar eclipse to reoccur in the same location. Of course, that means if one is headed your way and you can get to it, you’d better get there because you won’t be able to see it the next time it comes around.
Total solar eclipses are astounding. During the middle of a sunny summer afternoon, the sun, shining at full force, is gradually covered before becoming entirely blocked. The little moon eradicates the light from the great big sun. From the point of view of people on Earth, the moon and the sun align, causing the moon’s silhouette to obscure the sun’s intensity and allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible.
The greatest force in our solar system that we know of is entirely blocked out. The sun is the brightest star at the center of our solar system. The sun’s effect on Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times, and the sun has even been regarded by some cultures as a god. The rotation of our world, around the sun is the basis for calendars and more importantly the foundation of our understanding of the segmentation that we as humans define as time. Our seasons are formed by the earth’s respective position to the sun.
Astronomers and mathematicians theorize the sun is practically 4.6 billion years old and, while considered “middle aged,” has pretty much stayed the same over the past four billion years. Four billion years... It has also been calculated that the sun will remain stable for an additional five billion years, but of course, who knows this morning what will happen this afternoon...
So, there I was, watching all of these people pour in from far and wide to view this spectacle. Many even booked non-refundable reservations in observation locations several years earlier in anticipation of the event. As the day approached, each of us carved out our little spots and began the count down. Most of us were tracking the path of the solar eclipse on our electronic devices to make the wait a combination of tolerable and exciting. Not to mention to learn a few interesting facts along the way.
As the moon began to pass between the sun and the earth, all protective eyewear was securely fastened on each face before heads tilted towards the heavens to witness this rare occurrence. The actual eclipse in totality for our area lasted only about forty-five seconds, so no one was willing to miss its tiny window. Interestingly enough, some areas along its direct path had a total eclipse for up to two minutes. However, whether it lasted twenty seconds or two minutes, the sun’s rays always managed to shine back through.
After removing my protective eye wear, I began to truly absorb and process the entire solar eclipse. You know, I thought to myself, the sun remains constant in the sky. It never goes away. We are always revolving around it. Whether we see it or not due to the clouds or nightfall, it is always there.
This is very similar to life. Problems come and problems go. Challenges arrive and challenges are conquered. Many times, we cannot see the entire forest because of the individual trees. We often forget that “this too shall pass.” The moon’s coverage of the sun’s intensity during the total solar eclipse proves that...
* * * * * * *
Behind the clouds of anxiety,
rays of hope are always waiting
to shine through.
* * * * * * *
*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!