Opinions Editor Hunter Gilbert reacts to the total solar eclipse

“I immediately aimed my camera up at the sky, zooming in on that speck that was now a halo of light.”


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I have stood upon mountaintops in the Rockies, walked across green, rolling hills in New Zealand and even posed for photos atop a glacier in Canada. On Monday, the eclipse in Columbia was something else. While the previous views were spectacular, they still required the act of trying to reach the location. The eclipse, on the other hand, merely required walking outside at the proper time. In the grand scheme of things, it was effortless.

Several members of the Maneater staff and myself exited the Student Center around 12:40 p.m. and walked over to the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle. There we found a sea of students clamoring about, eager to finally see the eclipse. Clouds were streaming in across the sky, and for the longest time I felt as if we were not even going to be able see the event unfold; I was wrong. As the moon continued to slowly impede the sun’s light, shadows began to overtake the quadrangle, growing until totality occurred.

What surprised me the most were the sounds of cicadas and other bugs that were fooled by the this trick of nature. The rhythmic humming never ceased throughout the peak moment of the eclipse. The crowd began to cheer as they removed their protective glasses. Camera flashes soon followed despite campus officials’ advice not to do so.

I immediately aimed my camera up at the sky, zooming in on that speck that was now a halo of light. Awestruck, I clicked the button on my camera the first time and then another. A flurry of button mashing soon followed. The two minutes, give or take, seemed like a brief eternity when I attempt to remember them. This, itself, is odd to describe.

Simply put, you had to be there to truly appreciate it for what it was. As stunning as the photos may be, they absolutely don’t do the eclipse justice. I know I will cherish this for what it was, a sort of show put on by Mother Nature, and just for a few moments, I didn’t have a worry in the world. That was worth it on its own.

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