Many cities of Canada were preparing for the solar eclipse event since last few months.

Monalisa Dash Dwibedy

April 8th was the day. In the afternoon the solar eclipse was supposed to cross through North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada where the moon would align perfectly between earth and the Sun. However, since morning that day, it was cloudy in my city. For the first time ever, I felt I should have control over the clouds. If I say go away, they should move away from my view of the sky.

On any fine day, I usually love clouds as they bring rain and poetry to me. But that day, my feelings towards the clouds were so different that I just wanted them to clear up the sky. We drove to Hamilton, a nearby city which is around seventy kilometers away from Toronto to try our luck with the spectacular and rare celestial event. Also, the city of Hamilton was on the path of totality which meant the moon will cover hundred percent of the Sun for one and a half minutes. People outside the path of totality would be able to observe a partial solar eclipse, during which the Sun would not be hidden in totality.

All the way to Hamilton, the sky was covered with clouds. We thought we may not be able to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event as the Mother Nature was not on our side.

It was cloudy till 2:45 pm, we were at the confederation park, Hamilton. The Sun was partially eclipsed by the moon but due to clouds all over, the visibility was very limited. Suddenly it seemed like everyone’s prayers were answered. All of a sudden, the half-eclipsed Sun showed up shattering all the clouds. It was like a magic. Later I felt it was more magical than the total eclipse itself. Minute by minute, the total eclipse was approaching as if the moon was enjoying the proximity with the sun. At 3:18pm, it was total eclipse, total darkness which swept across the city. It was a truly unforgettable experience. The Moon was in total embrace of sun and it was dark like dawn. No words to describe the feelings. For ninety seconds it was soul stirring as the darkness prevailed and the stars were clearly visible in the sky. The birds were very confused as they were turning their directions every moment. Photos won’t be able to do justice for this moment. We watched the event with ISO certified solar eclipse glasses.

After the ninety second of total solar eclipse, as the moon started to graze past the Sun, we could view the perfect eclipse diamond ring when the tiny beads of sunlight shined through some places. Moon continued to move away from the path of sunlight and the broad daylight was back after an hour, signaling the end of the thrilling experience.

Witnessing cosmic events like the solar eclipse will make you realize your own place in this universe. I felt so small as my egos were mostly washed away. How miniature we are in this vast cosmos? We are alive on a rock floating in void which is spinning around itself and orbiting around a fireball. There is another rock orbiting the rock that we inhabit. Still you do not believe in miracles. In our short trip in this planet, we do not enjoy your own journey, rather we find time to compare & compete with others. How stupid is that!

Few days later, I read in the news that people proposed their partners with the view of eclipse diamond ring and many couples got married on the eclipse day. What a beautiful day to celebrate the bliss of life!

(The author is an IT Consultant living in Toronto. Views are personal)


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