The First Time

Comments describing the first time experience of totality.  Taken from my second book Totality:  The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in FNQ
Comments describing the first time experience of totality. Taken from my second book Totality: The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in FNQ

Often immediately after an eclipse, particularly a first eclipse, people are left speechless. After reflection, however, most people are able to name the range of emotions that they felt.

Here are some more comments about the eclipse in November, 2012:

The experience during totality is had to explain in words, video or photos, it’s really something you have to be there to experience.

It was an amazing experience. It was very awesome.

If you weren’t aware of the eclipse you would think something cataclysmic was happening, a very eerie feeling.

It was fabulous watching the kids watching the eclipse and dancing with excitement.

The wind picked up, the light changed suddenly and there was a collective “uuuhhhhhh” as we all marveled at the spectacle. It made me feel like I was part of something bigger

If everyday brought a moment of such wondrous twilight, I think the world would be a better place.

I do think there is something unique about the “awe-inspiring” feeling that you get simply because it is such a rare occurrence in most people’s lives.

I think I understand what is meant by ‘primal fear’.

I felt total calm, as though everything was right in the world and the moon and sun did align as I had expected.

I felt so lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to see this event.

Seeing images, webcasts etc are great and the imagery is amazing. But being there, seeing it and feeling the emotion was amazing.

I felt exhilarated and could only look at the totality, in retrospect I wish I had looked around me more but it was almost hypnotic.

I was really surprised to see just how much light a sliver of the sun provides to our earth. I was very surprised at the sky going completely black for that minute or so. It was wonderful to look up without solar protection and gaze at the spectacle of no sun!!

The shadows came forward and the semi darkness was all-encompassing and so unique, I felt pride in the universe.

I held my little boy’s hand during totality and he very much grasped the awesomeness of no sun.

I recall an underlying sense of tension during totality. Something deep within felt that this was “not right” . I liken this feeling to how I feel in the lead up to a major cyclone….though it is still a different feeling. It was actually the wave of relief I felt when totality passed that alerted be to the initial tension.

[It was] a reminder that petty things matter not at all.

I screamed in awe, I was very moved.

I wanted to talk about it afterwards, relating to people in the past and how they would have reacted not knowing it was going to occur

This is like no other awe, I think for the sheer indescribable beauty but also it is the tip of the iceberg for all other beauty in space I wish we could see.

Unless you are there you just don’t get it.

I can certainly understand how it could become an addiction.


If you are looking for more detailed descriptions of people during their first eclipse experience, you will find my book Totality of interest. Also, my next book-in-progress – Transformed – also features detailed interviews of people following their first eclipse experience.

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