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By now, most people might be tired of hearing and reading about the solar eclipse that graced much of the United States on Monday afternoon (Aug. 21, 2017).

One more observation before we all start planning ahead to 2024 when the next solar eclipse is anticipated. (Pennsylvanians, take note: the northwestern part of the state is said to be a prime spot. Road trip, anyone?)

While Schuylkill County and the surrounding region only had a partial view of the solar spectacular, it still brought people outside in the early afternoon to look heavenward. In doing so, it brought people together — particularly families.

In today’s Republican-Herald edition (Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017), a local story and a story reported by The Associated Press featured parents who encouraged their children to see the celestial wonder. The parents said they wanted to share this rare and historic event with their youngsters — and rightfully so.

I did the same thing — but quite by accident. My children and I accompanied a friend of Jacob’s and her parents to Crystal Cave in Kutztown. After touring the cave and eating lunch, we headed outside for Jacob and his friend to pan for gems. Plenty of people, young and old, were looking up at the sky with eclipse-safe glasses. At one point, a fellow parent held his glasses out to me and asked if I would like to take a look for myself. I obliged, and wow! While it wasn’t the total eclipse, it was still neat to see the moon’s shadow partially covering the sun. It looked a lot like a vanilla cookie with a bite out of it. 😉 … My children also saw the eclipse through borrowed glasses, and both found the sight a fascinating thing.

While the eclipse was an amazing thing to see, it’s also great how it brought people together. They gathered as family and friends, they celebrated and shared the experience with others via photos and videos and enabled those without eye protection to see as well (it wasn’t just my experience; articles revealed people offering glimpses with their eyewear in other locations).

Bonnie Tyler might have sung about a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (and she did, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean),  but in Monday’s case, it was an eclipse of the heart of the family.

Keep up the family momentum.