Contemplate the sky

You know what you don’t do enough? Star gaze. A magical wonderland spreads itself out for you each evening in the sky and you don’t bother to stop for a moment, tip your head back and just look. Well. The universe outdoes the Griswolds night after night with its light show, but your big, bright city smothers it with its shopping mall lights and parking lot spotlights. 

I know, you’re not big on standing idle in the frigid, dark night straining your neck, but if you did once in awhile, you might find yourself like I did last night taking a quick jaunt to the car then finding myself staring at the moon, my mouth hanging open at the mass of stars between pockets of illuminated clouds and the moon surrounded by a golden halo, glowing like a giant night light in the sky.

And then it happened again tonight. I was shuffling into the grocery store when this giant globe startled me. I, in turn, startled a guy walking by, because I just had to know:

“Is that the moon?

“Yeah, wow, huge,” he said. Not as impressed as I was, but not a bad response from a stranger accosted at the door to the grocery store.

Of course, summer stargazing is sweeter. I can’t wait for the Perseid meteor shows to come every August when I can lay out with a blanket wherever I am and watch the giant fireflies streak through the sky, gasping each time, like it’s the first one I’ve ever seen. 

I tried this when I was in the wilds of Virginia in November for my sister’s wedding, going out late at night where the sky was unpolluted for a 100 miles and there were bear warnings in the community. The stars were out, and the view was spectacular, but every rustle sounded like the biggest black bear and when a twig snapped in half, I ran inside at the speed of light.


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