Eclipse watchers gather at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, despite overcast skies

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday began with a sense of cynicism for eclipse watchers at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, what with the overcast gray and all.

The Optimists came, anyway. They gazed skyward and the heavens rewarded them. What cosmic accident could make the diameter of our moon from Earth roughly the same as our sun?

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Is it a gift? I wonder. In a troubled time, nothing else could better contextualize our place in the universe than a solar eclipse?

Imagine, tens of millions of Americans staring skyward all at the same sun in the same moment.

If there could be a more communal event, I do not want to imagine it.

Suffice how, for a couple of blessed hours, today, all of our problems, worries and divisions and problems burned away.

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