Of Bedtime Stories And Solar Eclipses

I have been waiting pretty much my whole life thus far to see a solar eclipse.

This isn’t just due to an interest in astronomy. In fact, I’d say I owe my interest in the eclipse to “Wishbone,” my parents, and an early love of reading.

Like any 90s kid, I grew up with “The Cat in the Hat,” “Fox in Socks,” and other Dr. Seuss classics. But, my parents also read me other classics, aided and abetted by the TV show “Wishbone.”

I watched “Wishbone” every day. Some favorite “adventures” included “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Sherlock Holmes” and “Don Quixote.”

And it wasn’t just “Wishbone” exposing me to classical authors. My parents read me Rudyard Kipling, L. Frank Baum, LM Montgomery, and Mark Twain (among others).

My dad has two large volumes of Mark Twain’s collected works. Among those, is “A Connecticut Yankee in the Courts of King Arthur.”

My parents sat down and read this to me, one bit at a time, after dinner.

I loved the story. I loved the idea of going back in time and seeing King Arthur. But it was the eclipse that had my jaw dropping open and questions spilling from my mouth.

I was astonished at the idea of the sun hiding for a while, and wanted to know what that was like. My mom, who had seen an eclipse once, told me about looking at the sun’s reflection in a bucket of water, instead of at the sun. She told me what it looked like, and how dark everything got.

Naturally, I wanted to see an eclipse. Mom and Dad explained I’d have to wait an awfully long time.

About 20 years later, I am incredibly excited, and trying to find my best option for viewing the eclipse.

Thanks’ to the NASA  webpage devoted to the eclipse, I’ll be ready Monday, Aug. 21.

And when the eclipse happens, you can bet a piece of me will be picturing the awestruck faces of King Arthur’s court.

 

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