Six Nations witnesses history as total solar eclipse plunges community into darkness for two minutes

Magical is one word to describe the phenomenal total solar eclipse that blanketed the reserve in darkness in the middle of the afternoon on Monday, in a spectacular celestial event not expected to happen again in North America until 2044.

For two brief minutes in time, millions of people in the so-called “path of totality” spanning from Mexico to Montreal saw the moon completely cover the sun as the two planetary objects orbited their way across the continent.

Six Nations community members gathered at the Community Hall to witness the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, ready with snacks, folding chairs, and of course, solar eclipse glasses, for safe, unobstructed views of the moon-covered sun.

The day started off cloudy and overcast, with people all over social media worried they wouldn’t be able to see the much-hyped event in its full glory.

As people began to gather on the grounds at the community hall around 2 p.m., there were comments like, “I hope it clears up” and “I can’t see anything!” as they tried peering through their glasses for glimpses of the moon starting to cast over the sun.

But there was a sudden clearing of clouds just in time for the viewing of the moon starting to edge its way over the sun and they parted to reveal the sun blazing in all its glory.

Cries of “I see it!” could be heard on the grounds from those who gathered to watch.

From 2 p.m. onwards, people watched in awe though their safety glasses as the moon began to cover more and more of the sun.

The sun resembled a crescent moon for the last portion of coverage before totality occurred.

But through a regular camera lens, the sun appeared to shine bright and unobstructed right up until the moment of totality around 3:20 p.m. eastern time.

There was an eerie light filter in the atmosphere akin to an Instagram filter, creating an odd ambience for about a half hour before the moment of totality hit.

When the moon finally took its position in front of the sun, a large beam of light glinted on the edge of the eclipse, akin to a diamond sparkling, before the grounds of the community hall plunged into nighttime.

People clapped and cheered and fireworks rang out around the community hall during that brief show of celestial magic. People were staring up at the sky in wonderment and awe. Glasses came off at that point, as the sun’s harmful rays were obstructed enough to safely view the total solar eclipse with the naked eye.

Birds went quiet for those two minutes. A chill permeated the air without the warmth of the midday sun to heat the earth.

As quickly as the magic started, it seemed to end.

As the moon made its way across the sun and totality ended, another glint of diamond-like light pierced the night sky on the other side of the sun before light slowly returned to the grounds of the community hall, like a morning sunrise.

The air remained quite chilly as the moon continued to make its way across the sun for the next hour, before Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun resumed their normal, unobstructed journeys across the sky.

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