After the Eclipse

Copyright © 2006, Glenn Story

It was something he had wanted to do all his life: witness a total solar eclipse.

It had taken weeks of planning over literally years of time. It had cost him a lot of money. He had ended up on a cruise ship in the waters of the East Indies.

It had been spectacular—everything he had hoped for: Bailey’s Beads, the diamond ring, and most spectacular of all, during totality the black disk, like a hole punched in the sky, surrounded by the shimmering streaks of the corona. It was breathtaking and moving.

But now it was over. He was back in his cabin. His mood was as dark as the sky had been moments before. He played solitaire for a while. But that seemed so mundane after the experience he had just had. That was the problem he realized: he now had to return to his mundane job and his mundane house and his mundane life.

There would be other eclipses; they happen every few years. But he knew he wouldn’t go again. The trouble of arranging it, and the cost, were too much.

He recalled actually witnessing the shadow of the moon rushing across the surface of the ocean toward him. And when it was over the shadow receded in the opposite direction with equal speed. Now all was back to normal. His life had been enriched by the experience of it; but now it was irretrievably in the past.

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