On the morning of the April 8 eclipse, I was taking a walk when I spotted a friend sitting in her car talking on the phone. 

Our eyes met, she mouthed, “One second.” I took my earbuds out and waited. When she was done, we sat on a bench and talked for about an hour, serious talk about loss, about challenges faced. In my middle-aged life, with work and kids and adulting, it was a most unusual occurrence. 

I thought I knew what an eclipse looked like. 

But then I saw the totality yesterday afternoon — the brilliant corona, the sunspots, the overwhelming joy I felt and could hardly contain. I wasn’t alone in this joy because all around me people were cheering, exclaiming, smiling. 

Before that moment, my understanding of an eclipse was rooted in definitions that implied obscuration, the dimming of the sun’s splendor. I know now an eclipse is connection and light. 

We recognize how small we are. How much we need each other.

Have a Bright Spot to share? Send it to Managing Editor Julia Lerner (lernerj@denison.edu). Tell us about the moment that made you smile in under 200 words, and try to include a photograph. We’ll add it to our growing list of Bright Spots on TheReportingProject.org!