Our Solar Eclipse Experience
On the morning of August 21st, the entire country woke up in anticipation of the long-awaited solar eclipse set to span across the entire United States. Every news channel was counting down until the beginning of the big event. The weather here in Tipton County was, luckily, favorable to view the eclipse - it was a warm 90 degrees and sunny with only a few scattered clouds. Here at Cypress, we were definitely prepared. Chairs and photography equipment were set out right in front of the office and we all made sure that we brought a pair of eclipse glasses (with plenty of extra pairs to go around). At around 12:30 p.m, I made my way outside to join in the festivities.
Once outside, I put on my glasses and looked excitedly to the sky, taking quick glances and then looking away - I wasn’t about to ignore all of the warnings about the sun damaging your eyesight. The heavy Tennessee heat bore down on us, but that didn’t stop us from standing in it for the next hour for the chance to witness the moon slowly obscure the beaming sun. It was incredible to watch the sun slowly be hidden behind the moon until it was nothing more than a tiny crescent.
Our photographer, Nathan, and our Chief Digital Officer, Loralee, photographed the entire process. The rest of us impatiently checked the time as we awaited the clock to turn to 1:23 - this was when the eclipse was to hit 93% totality. As the time neared, it became noticeably darker and cooler by about five degrees, as if we were about to be hit by a summer storm. As soon as the time turned to 1:22 p.m, we all made sure our glasses were in place and eagerly looked up as the moon slowly moved to cover 93% of the sun. The sun now appeared as just a tiny sliver of bright light.
Everyone was quiet for just a moment as we took in the gorgeous and rare celestial sight. The peak of the eclipse lasted for only a couple of minutes. As the next minutes passed, the air slowly warmed back up and the sun gradually came peeked out from the moon and back into sight. While the exciting moment was just that - a moment - it briefly brought the nation together and gave everyone a reason to drop whatever they were doing in order to witness this incredible, natural phenomenon. Although we didn’t travel out of town to witness the event in its full totality, it definitely would be worth the drive. If you didn’t get a chance to experience the eclipse this year, you should definitely make plans for the next one in 2024. I know all of us at Cypress will.