It was peaceful but eerie. Astoundingly beautiful but kind of underwhelming, all at the same time.
It’s hard for me to find the right words to describe Monday’s partial solar eclipse, which is saying a lot as I’m “a professional communicator.” Knowing my words and photos will never do the eclipse justice frustrates me, but I find comfort knowing that some things in life just can’t be described. For one, this keeps me humble and reminds me how small I am in the presence of God. The world is often times indescribable, and the best we can do to understand it is to just experience it. So here goes my attempt to describe my eclipse experience.
I pull into the parking lot at Mogadore Reservoir, my choice viewing location. I pump up my stand up paddle board, put on my life jacket and start to paddle out. I travel away from the put in, through the Route 43 underpass and into the giant reservoir. It’s pretty “normal” outside. A couple people are in boats, fishing alongside a handful of great blue herons.
The eclipse is in full swing at this point and the sky is noticeably darker. It’s a mostly clear day, but it looks and feels like it’s about to rain. Everything around me is extremely still, almost creepy still. The wind stops blowing, the herons are gone and I haven’t seen a fish jump in more than 30 minutes. It’s almost like the world is preparing to stop for the eclipse. I decide to stop as well. I lay on my board, put on my eclipse glasses and watch as the moon slowly but surely covers more and more of the sun.
It’s peak eclipse time now. The sun looks the same to the naked eye but behind my glasses the shadow of the moon has taken over. I tried to capture the eclipse in a photo, but it was nearly impossible with my standard iPhone. However, in the bottom right of the sky, you can see a small sun flare in the shape of the eclipse.
By now, the world feels like it’s spinning again and Mogadore’s environment returns to it’s usual rhythm. I start to make my way back. As I think about what I just saw, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed, wondering what a total eclipse would have been like. None the less, I decide I’m happy I went out. I’m thankful for the stillness and peace I experienced and can’t wait for 2024. In seven years, the next solar eclipse will occur, and Ohio will be smack dab in the path of totality.