CARBONDALE, Ill. — As the applause and cheers for totality died out and the sun returned, a reverent quiet fell upon the crowd.
If before totality, the SIU campus had been a carnival, the aftermath was like an especially moving church service.
People hugged, or traded reactions in hushed, awestruck tones. More than one person’s voice choked trying to describe what they’d just seen. Most preferred not to talk at all.
They put their glasses back on and gazed at the slim yellow crescent in the sky, still thinking about the brilliant, sparkling, effervescent version of the sun revealed by the moon.