The one thing I didn’t expect was the ending.
The ending, I’d figured beforehand, would be gradual, the way the progression toward totality would be. And, sure enough, the moment we’d all been waiting for, some 6000 of us in that distiller’s field at the Kentucky/Tennessee border, came slowly, tantalizingly, as if the gods of the sky — Caelus of ancient Rome and Uranus, the Greek — had drawn up the script for the Great American Eclipse 2017. The lead actors played their parts perfectly, Luna’s disc ever-so-deliberately inching over that of Sol.
And then, just as we were beginning to realize that, uh-uh, this was no Broadway production or CGI stunt in some blockbuster action movie, just as the confused crickets and cicadas began revving up — SNAP! — the sun popped out again, seemingly in full force, causing the 6000 of us, grinning, to squint and recoil, the way you do on a dark night when someone shines a flashlight in your face.
I saw it. I have it in my memory for the rest of my life. If you couldn’t make it down into the path of totality, here’s a video of the experience, starting about 15 minutes before totality. Go ahead, open it up and then do a controlled fast forward through to the darkness and then the pop of light.
Let The Sun Shine!