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Witnessing the Eclipse: A Moment of Reflection

A reflection on the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Students viewing beginning of eclipse. Picture by Emily Burks.

Truly nothing could prepare me for an experience like that. 

A complete and total eclipse, on April 8, 2024, the entire world around me changed within a matter of seconds. Day turned to night at 1:38 p.m.

To backtrack, I first heard the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 would be passing over Waco during my freshman year at Baylor. Watching a Lariat TV news broadcast in the halls of the Castellaw Communications Center the reporter described the future event. And, on Monday, the moment so many had hyped for years finally came.

I’ll admit to never being super interested in solar eclipses or other natural phenomena, so I had low expectations going into the day. Witnessing the eclipse in totality, however, was an experience like no other.

On Monday afternoon, as the sky grew darker, people around me began to cheer and marvel at the sight. Once the moon eclipsed the sun, it felt as if the world fell silent. Standing there, we fell short of words to explain the experience. 

Students viewing eclipse in totality. Picture by Paige Runion.

In those moments when the world around us goes quiet and we are struck with the rarity of just us and our thoughts, it’s human to reflect. For me, I couldn’t help but think about something my friend Sofia, a senior, said in passing a few minutes before the eclipse: The next time an eclipse like this happens in Texas, 20 years from now in 2044, we’ll all most likely have completely different lives. Many people my age will be married, maybe with a few kids, and who knows where we’ll all be. 

As a junior at Baylor, this thought is admittedly terrifying. Less than a month from now, friends like Sofia will leave and about a year from now, I’ll do the same.

For as long as we could, though, we all stood together watching and reflecting on the eclipse. 

Maybe, the next time – in 2044 – I’ll tell my future kids about this moment and what I experienced at 1:38 p.m.

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