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An Eclipse Story: My First Experience with Blindness

Two of my greatest childhood scares happened in 2006 stamping it as an unforgettable year for me. I wish to share both experiences. One today and the other tomorrow. Do stick around and subscribe to get notified of new posts.

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On March 29, 2006, an uncle was taking me and my brothers to school when he shared some information with us. “There’s going to be an eclipse of the sun today”, he said.

When we asked what that meant, he said the whole world would be covered in darkness during the daytime. Wow!

Then he added that we must not look towards the sky throughout the day or when it was happening or we could go blind. Another wow! My head was swimming with the information and excitement.

The only issue was that the moment he said that, I who had not had the slightest plan of looking up suddenly found my entire 8-year-old existence centred on keeping my gaze straight or at the ground.

I even avoided pools of water… in case I saw the reflection of the sun in it and went blind.

I do wonder why my school had not found it worthwhile to explain to a group of students about an eclipse. Maybe they did though, but I don’t remember.

I was quite the silent stubborn type. The moment I was told not to do something was when I needed to do it. I just wouldn’t be able to help myself. I’d feel my heart race as if it were going to burst…almost like I was dying.

I remember being in awe and fear throughout the day as I tried to stare only ahead. No surprise that my neck began to cramp.

When the eclipse started I ran with my other classmates to look outside the window. Amidst the oohs and ahhs, I lost the fight and like a spring my neck shot up at the sky.

I lost the power to look away. I kept staring, transfixed at the view until I was satisfied.

When I finally tore my gaze away, I was seeing only stars. I panicked big time. Thought I had gone blind. Fear filled my heart but I did not give myself to the hysteria I felt.

As someone that hates rebuke, and imagining the number of whips I’d get at home for going blind, I decided to wait it out until I was 100% sure of my blindness. Crazy right?

In time, my vision cleared. I could have wept for joy at my “healing” and most importantly nobody knew I had gone temporarily blind. My crime was mine alone.

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My main worry from this memory is that I did not feel safe enough to tell my friends, teachers or parents about my “blindness”.

I do accept that I was quite insecure and secretive as a child but I still feel that I should have been able to meet at least ONE person I knew.

As a child, I was always curious but never bold enough to ask questions. Always preferring to seek answers myself instead of just asking…even if it took years.

Every parent should study their children as if they were preparing for a crazy examination…because they are.

Some parents look at children and all they see is “the kid”, someone immature, still learning how to make sentences, wipe their buttocks themselves…

I’d have parents know that children are more than that. They’re really more appropriately described as “small humans”. These small beings have working brains and are consciously and unconsciously swallowing every piece of information around them- good, bad and ugly.

I put it to every parent to LISTEN. Stop talking all the time and listen to them. Listen to how their day went, what mistakes they made, and why they have that notion about life. In-between all that chatter, you’ll get to know your kids.

Create an atmosphere of trust for them. More importantly, never assume they’re not watching you cause they are. And they are learning more than they let on.

If you decide to have children then get ready to be responsible for their whole being. Not only the financial and physical but the emotional, mental and spiritual.

I rest my case.

Don’t miss the second part of this story tomorrow titled “From the Girl who Kissed Satan”.

As usual, I still love hearing from you💓. Don’t forget to comment.

Here’s a post about tips for safely watching a solar eclipse.

Hi, I'm Chioma Jeremiah. I'm passionate about helping my community see the beautiful light that each day brings. My goal is to inspire you with everything that will make each read the best for you.

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