Total eclipse of the sun

Totally awesome

Totally awesome

I watched the solar eclipse, with my family and about a hundred other viewers, from Kuenselphodrang. By the time we got there, a little after 6 AM, it was already bright. But, the skies were overcast. And, as much as we hoped that the clouds would disappear over the eastern skies, they stood their ground, stubbornly.

I secretly accepted that we wouldn’t be able to see the eclipse; that we’d miss the moment the moon overpowers the sun; and that we wouldn’t be able to put to use the eclipse glasses that we got, miraculously, only the night before. Galek, my daughter, had learnt so much about the eclipse, and was so excited about the experience, that I couldn’t tell her that we would have to settle for just witnessing a bright early morning suddenly turn to night.

But then, nature’s magic took over, and in the heavens, right before our eyes, the sun emerged and literally smiled at us. The upward crescent cast long shadows. And, with its rays struggling to reach us, the lively morning quickly turned to an errie twilight.

As the magic continued, the moon covered the sun completely. Dogs howled in the sudden cool night and, in the distance, lights were switched on from houses and passing vehicles. Directly above us, a lone star presented itself.

And, there was more magic. As the sun and the moon combined to form a celestial diamond ring, Galek, aged 10, whispered: “I’m so happy that I’m old enough to remember this moment throughout my life.”

This week’s banner celebrates that breathtaking experience. The world will have to wait for more than 100 years to see a similar eclipse. And Bhutan? We’ll most probably have to wait a lot, lot longer. If you would–and this is especially for Zhidag and Romeo–like to see a few more photos of the eclipse, please visit the gallery.