ECLIPSE by Jane Kelley

 Today I'm chasing the total eclipse of the sun.

This photo of me staring at the sun through my welder's glass was taken at the 2017 eclipse. I also saw the one in 1991. But I'm not saying, okay been there, done that. Instead, my family has been planning for months to see this one on April 8. We want the best chance for clear skies in that narrow strip of the zone of totality.

Why have we spent so much time and effort and money? The sun and the moon hang around us all the time. We take them for granted like old friends. But today those heavenly bodies will align in an unusual way AND ATTENTION MUST BE PAID.

Some folks are a little annoyed by the hype and the hoopla. Some worry that they might miss out and someone else will have a better eclipse experience. Better scenery. A cleverer cocktail. More music. 

I am worried about those clouds that have been hanging around me for months. But mainly I'm thinking of the poetry of this moment. The meaning of the event. 

Isn't amazing that it happens at all? 

That the moon's size is perfect for passing us at the perfect distance to totally block the sun.

That the new moon sneaks across the sky hidden from us because we can never see its dark side. And then it accomplishes the unthinkable and turns day into night. No wonder past eclipses toppled regimes!

And what does the sun do when it's upstaged by this small ball of rock who can't even produce its own light? Does the sun sulk and say, Fine, enjoy the darkness. No, it says, I'll reveal another secret. 

THE CORONA. White wisps of fire clouds. Strands of plasma which are always billowing out from the sun. When you see the literal crown, you can't help but be amazed by the energy that pulses from this glowing orb. 

There might be clouds today. But even if there are and I can't see anything, I will still take a moment to think about the connection between the Sun, the Earth's Moon, and a human named Jane standing on Earth and marveling that we are all here in this universe. 

I have no pictures of the eclipse. That's way beyond my skill set. Instead, here's my husband Lee with an eclipse of his own.

JANE KELLEY is an eclipse chaser who also writes middle grade novels.


  1. Saw a lot of the eclipse here in NJ. Awe inspiring just as you said.

  2. We didn't see much here in SW MO, but we DID get the crescent shadows. Had to stop for a while and just watch them flicker.


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