Monday, August 21, 2017

Disappointing Eclipse

When I was a young lad, say around eight or nine years of age, I participated in the Rock Ridge Lake (in Denville) swim team. At the onset of summer, all the swimmers were advised to swim twenty-five laps a day in the laned areas between two rafts. As such, every day (weather permitting) I swam my laps. I noticed many other members of the team did not...but my job was to swim my own laps. I did.

Near the end of summer there was a gala event held at the clubhouse. My mother even attended! Each swim club member was called to the front of the room and given a team jacket. It was a wonderful green, zippered jacket with the Rock Ridge logo emblazened on it. There were jackets for the Senior swimmers, the Junior swimmers and also the Junior-Juniors (one of which I was at the time).

Ah...the glory of it all!

My name was not called. I was so disappointed...and probably cried at not receiving a jacket. My mother enquired as to my omission and was told the jackets were only given to members of the club who swam their laps. "I did!" I wailed. "I swam every day and some of those kids really didn't!" seems I was supposed to tell the lifeguard or coach every day when I completed my laps. I was never told to tell anyone anything! I just swam my laps but there was no record of my efforts.

Such was the disappointment of today's solar eclipse. I had made a viewing box and was ready for the darkness. The internet said there would a 92% coverage of the sun...Mars and many stars would be visible in the daytime! How exciting! The darkening crept in to the extent that it felt like evening. I was certain that night was coming in the morning! Then, I received a phone call from my son. "That's it!" he said. And...that WAS it. No stars. No Mars. No blackness of night. Gradually, the day brightened and all was normal again.

I threw the eclipse-viewing box in the trash and stood...dumbfounded and disappointed. Just like when I didn't receive my Junnior-Junior club jacket.

No eclipse (just a phony excuse for one)...and no jacket.

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