In 2017, a week before my sophomore year began I went out with my mother, father, and grandfather to the smokey mountains to view the total eclipse. We set out under a small shade tree in a small clearing and my dad and grandfather began fiddling with the plethora of telescopes and cameras, making sure that they all would be set and ready to go before the few minutes of total eclipse that we would get.

My grandfather had seen two eclipses before that point, but wanted to see as many as possible. And in that moment when the burning hot sky turned to a dulcet chill I realized why. It was an eerie twilight. Neither dark nor light, with a beautiful corona bursting out above me. We watched the moon slowly make its way in front of the sun through a solar telescope, watching the sun rays tremble back beneath the dark silhouette of the moon. And as it reached its totality, the world went still as a hundred voices simultaneously stopped and sucked in a breath. The bugs and the birds were silent, and it was as though the whole world had stopped.

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