John pulled off his glasses and exclaimed, “It wasn’t a hoax!”
He was referring, of course, to the total eclipse that happened yesterday. John was just one of the many sky-viewers at Waterloo Methodist Church in SC that my dad, my mom, and I met while we waited for totality.
We hadn’t anticipated encountering masses at the rural sanctuary, but we were surprised that several vehicles joined us shortly after we arrived at 11 o’clock AM. Within moments, we made friends with a girl who drove from Brooklyn to see the natural phenomenon. As we chatted, I discovered that she previously worked at Pine Cove Woods as a videographer. You never know where you will meet an alumnus.
About an hour later, her friends arrived with sandwiches, figs, and an entire key lime pie. We sat at picnic tables under a tree and waited for the world to end…or something like that.
But don’t worry; we were prepared for the impending darkness. Everyone had a pair of eclipse glasses. Someone even had a homemade eclipse viewing box for extra protection.
An onlooker read to us from a book about the total eclipse:
“On a scale of 1-10, a partial eclipse is a 7. A total eclipse is a 1 thousand. Or maybe even 1 million!”
We waited with unparalleled anticipation. Periodically, the app on a nearby phone would beep and tell us what was happening. Eventually the cicadas, sensing twilight, began chirping loudly. At 2:30 PM, we were surrounded with songs of the night.
“When the eclipse occurs, the hairs on the back of your neck will raise as those around you scream.”
We screamed, alright. We screamed because a massive rain cloud paused at exactly 2:40 and remained still for the totality of the eclipse. It covered the sun better than the moon ever could.
Nonetheless, we experienced the total eclipse. We felt the temperature drop. We saw the world darken. We watched (through our glasses) as the moon slowly moved across the sun.
And it was incredible. Our God–the Creator of the sun, moon, and earth–is truly unfathomable.
P.S. – Another article that I wrote is up on the Pine Cove blog. If you have time, go check it out!