Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Star Light Star Bright

I left the club on the waterfront about 10:00 tonight and as I pulled out of the parking lot I looked across at the night sky and my breath caught in my throat. It was one of the most gorgeous skies I have ever seen. It was a true deep lavender, the shining sliver of the moon hanging over the black shadows of the Olympic Mountains. Just above the moon and to the right was a brilliant star (Mars? North Star? I know nothing about astronomy!) It was breathtaking and as I drove home I started to remember other skies.

Many years ago, my family and my brother/sister-in-law and their daughters camped in Chinook at the mouth of the Columbia River. Trust me, there are no city lights to diffuse your view of the sky. We deliberately chose the week of the Perseid Meteor shower that occurs every August. We were more than lucky, the weather being very warm and the skies were very clear.

We all laid our sleeping bags out and waited for the show to begin. I had never before and never since seen such a sight in all of my life. The meteors were like fireballs in the sky and no sooner did one burn out then another one appeared. Sometimes there were several hurtling past us at the same time. The campground was filled with our wonder as Heather, Anna, Lisa and Katy exclaimed over and over again, "look, look, look at that one! Did you see that one? That one was the biggest one yet!" I will never forget that evening as the skies took on a mystical magic of their own.

I have a fascination for the Perseids. I'm the crazy lady that drags her blanket out to the front yard with a few pillows and fends off the neighborhood cats and a raccoon or two just in the hope that I will see that shooting star. Then I can wish on it and all will be well.

I flew to Lake Tahoe a few years ago for a mini family reunion in August and I was so excited that I might have the opportunity to see the meteors. Nobody else in the family wanted to watch with me so I took my blanket and walked down to the beach and laid there for a few hours. Here I was at a very high point on the earth and far away from lights but unfortunately there was enough of a cloud cover that I never saw a one.

One year in the month of November I was on a cruise ship in the Mississippi racing towards the Gulf and several islands beyond. I stepped out of the room I was sharing with friends onto the deck. Just as I looked up, a shooting star streaked across the sky just for me. I made my wish and yes, it was a lovely cruise.

I was down in Austin TX visiting my aunt one April. Just as we stepped outside a ball of fire shot across the sky. We stopped, looked at each other to confirm that we both saw it and burst out laughing. Weren't we so special to have seen that?

Just last summer my BFF, Joanie, and I were driving when a large meteor shot across the Edmonds waterfront. We raced down to the beach, but alas, we did not see anymore fireworks. So we just meandered up to Dairy Queen and consoled ourselves with banana splits. That and Joanie's company made up for only seeing one.

I think one of my favorites times was when this crazy lady (that would be me) and my daughter, Lisa, were laying out on the blanket on a hot summer night. We were just passing the time, talking, exclaiming over the light show when we both started to get drowsy. I was fighting closing my eyes when I realized the sky was undulating and it had turned emerald green. I reached over and grabbed my daughters hand and asked her if she was seeing the same thing I was seeing. I knew I hadn't done any drugs in the 60's so this was not a flashback. We were blessed to be watching the Aurora Borealis. This was confirmed by the newspaper article in the next days paper.

To this day, I will get out of my car and look up into the sky. Just checking it out, hoping for a brilliant flash across the sky. One can always hope there will be one to wish on, you know, you can never have too many wishes.

1 comment:

  1. I will post some of the photos I have taken out my front door here in Maine....the first year I lived here I was in awe not only of the beauty but the way in which the weather and sunsets change from day-to-day and sometimes, moment-to-monent. Great blog, Rita :)