There’s Always Time For Stargazing

I don’t know exactly where I am going. Maybe I’ll go west of here to see the fall colors and some mountains. I’m not yet sure if I’ll rent an RV, pack up the family, and drive to a good park with the perfect scenery for a few nights. I may just find a cabin and reserve it. Either way, I’m headed out of here. I’ll take a few books with me I’ve been meaning to read. Maybe I’ll get around to reading them and maybe I won’t. It won’t hurt my feelings if I don’t get a chance to. That will mean there were other things worth seeing and doing.

I sometimes compare nature to a close family member. You can go months without seeing them. Sure you miss them but at the same time you know they are still there, and one day you’ll meet up again. It’s when you do finally meet up again, however, is that when you realize just how much you have missed. And then at other times, the longer you stay a way the easier it becomes.

I miss the stars. I remember growing up, I could look up at almost any time during the night and see a sky full of stars. They were so bright it was hard to imagine it could actually be nighttime. I guess naturally since I like stars, I should like shooting stars. I do. Catching a glimpse of one excites me. I can remember the last time I saw one. I was at my best friend’s house who still lives in the same town we grew up. It was 2006 (I know because I was getting deployed) and we were in his backyard talking as we usually do when I go home to visit. I was pointing out a few constellations (I’m pretty sure he didn’t care) and then we were treated with two of them, one after the other. The last one split clean in two.

I looked over at him, winked, and said, “I knew we were going to see a shooting star. That’s why I had us looking up.” I was telling him the truth.

I don’t remember what he said in response. Probably something along the lines of, “did you?”

My friend, by the way, has the same first name as me. We’ve been best friends since Kindergarten.

At any rate, here it isn’t quite like that. My son received a little telescope for Christmas last year. I took him outside to show him how to use it. We spotted a couple of stars, but only a couple. Being they were very close together, I tried to focus in on them thinking our chances better, but the surrounding lights were too bright. Our attempt at capturing the moon was only slightly better. The artificial lights on the ground were too bright to allow in the light from above.

I guess it would be fair to mention the telescope we were using wasn’t something you would find at an observatory. Still, I expected a little more. Doesn’t matter now. Being five and all, he broke it a few weeks later.

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