During the solar eclipse we all realized that the universe was bigger than our egos. It took a moon covering the sun for everyone to calm down, and actually listen to scientists. People won’t listen to them on matters regarding climate change, global warming or water pollution, but they will readily follow their advice on where and when to watch the solar eclipse, making sure to buy solar glasses so they don’t burn their eyes. The solar eclipse of 2017 gave people a chance to come together despite whatever else was going on in the world.
I waited until noon or so when the moon would begin covering the sun. “It’s going to be slow,” a friend said, adding that the clouds would obscure it. I was anxious for the eclipse to start and end already, so I ate candies and wrote to pass the time. It was like waiting out a long sentence in the National Weather Service, though it was interesting to see meteorologist in action. The room was filled with computers, three to four per desk, per person. Some displayed forecast maps, numbers others data that seemed hard to decipher. I also saw cool gifs of the solar eclipse’s path on a map of the U.S. I wondered how people kept focus staring at all those screens and images, but realistically they probably only ever used one or two. There were several phones on every desk, too many to count, each with it’s own purpose; they were not simply intended for calls. Eerily enough, there would be a change in temperature during the eclipse, but slightly.
I kept checking a big digital clock with bold red numbers at the center of the back wall. It was next to a medium-size T.V., broadcasting CNN. As expected they had ongoing coverage of the eclipse. When we first went out, the moon had only begun covering the sun. It was merely a tiny spot on the right side of the sun, as if a bird had bitten it off. The clouds moved slowly in front, and I could feel myself becoming disappointed, so I went back inside. Later on, I went back outside a couple more times. Eventually, the moon reached the half point. Still sometimes the sun and the moon were visible and other times, the clouds fully covered them. “Go away clouds,” I found myself saying.
Finally around 1:30 p.m., everyone was outside waiting for what we expected would be 88 percent totality. I peered through the solar glasses, taking breaks when the sun became too intense. I tried to take a photo with my Iphone behind my solar glasses, and captured not the most ideal images, but I wasn’t about to point my nice camera at the sun without a filter. Not before long, the sun was finally in a crescent shape. I helped someone from the office take photos since at first, since she couldn’t figure it. Some people pointed at the strange umbrella shapes on the ground created by the shadows of the moon. It had seemed like an eternity, but it was finally over. The moon had obliterated the sun, but just for a short while.
In the parking lot, a random lady who was driving around in an uber car decided to stop and show me her photos and ask me what I thought. She then made a reference to a strange photo she had taken. “I wonder what that is,” she said, passing me her phone. “It’s probably a glare or reflection.” I told her. She had been staring at the eclipse through the tinted back window in her car, so that’s probably what caused the multiple diagonal shapes of the moon and sun. It did look like the solar eclipse of another planet, perhaps Jupiter. I let her borrow my solar glasses and helped her take a photo with the Iphone right behind it. I’m not sure how long we stood there, but I was ready to drive away. “I think you’ve got quiet a lot of photos,” I said.