Eclipses are weird things for a blind person, as you can imagine. I know what is happening, cosmologically speaking, and I know I will probably not live long enough to see another one, so of course I hoped for clear skies and I stood outside in the garden waiting for it to work its magic.
We employed an ordinary kitchen colander and a piece of white paper. The sun’s image passed through the holes in the colander onto the paper, and, hey presto, there was the beginning of the event, multiplied lots of times. I got a bit excited, but, to be honest, a circle doesn’t look circular to me at the best of times.
Then, the world started to change. It went that strange colour that sometimes precedes a storm. It didn’t go dark like at night. It went gloomy and grey for the sighted people, and gloomier and greyer more me. We couldn’t see the other side of the valley, and the street lights below us came on
It went cold, a hard, sharp cold with no wind.
Then all the dogs in the village began to bark. That was very strange. What were they feeling?
I have no great thoughts about this event, because vast cosmological processes like this just cause a short circuit in my brain. What can I say or think that can do justice to the engine of the solar system? The only coherent thought was how amazing it is that the tiny moon is so exactly distant from the earth that, when it gets between us and the sun, its disc exactly fits the size of a huge star 93,000,000 miles away.
That’s enough mind-blowing wonder for one day.