Inspired by the partial solar eclipse last Friday.
There were cries aloud from both the children and those grown alike. A collective howl went up towards the darkening sky as the sun threatened to wink out. Slowly it began to hide behind the black ball that crept in front of it. Those who were observant had noticed the process, which seemed like magic, as soon as it had begun. But now as the light faded and faded and faces turned skywards to see the sun slipping from them, there was panic and fear.
Enk smiled as she looked around her. Finally she quietened her friends and family with a motion of her hands. She knew their murmurings, a fear of the end of all things, or the wrath of a higher power. Her smile, she knew, comforted them. As their voices fell and eyes turned from the apparently dying sun to her. Softly and slowly she told them the story of how the great mother swallowed the sun and gave birth to it anew, and when it was reborn came the greatest harvest of the age.
As she finished her words she turned her eyes to the sky and all followed. The sun was being reborn and with it an end to the coldness and frost that had lingered since the winter. The sun fully possessed the sky once more and Enk watched the rejoicing of her kin. As the heat warmed them for what seemed like an age the people celebrated. Enk smiled, it was never the end, the rebirth of the sun was always the beginning.
Erika finished putting the sandwiches on the platter and ran out the door, platter in hand. Outside everyone looked skyward with their glasses and smiles stuck to their faces. The sun was already starting to disappear behind the moon, which looked like a big black ball rolling across the sky.
Erika had been looking forward to this for so long. Not only was it an phenomenon one could experience only every so often, but the holiday that had been designated for it meant everyone had the day off work. As she took her platter to the table already laid out by friends and neighbours, she could hear the mutterings. People joking about it being the end of the world, a sign of the apocalypse. Erika smiled, she wondered if people had been thinking that for millennium. Erika placed down her platter and found her friends before popping on her own glasses to watch the spectacle. They chatted excitedly about how fun the party was going to be, a great way to celebrate the darkness ahead – the solar farms would not be back up to full power until the late evening.
There were sounds of wonder as the sun became half and then a slither and then a slip and then it was gone. And there was darkness. And darkness. And the laughter died on their lips, the wonder faded and fear gripped the world as they awaited the return of the sun. The next beginning.