Tonight the annual, subtle show of lights in the sky known as the Perseid Meteor Shower, will be observable. According to the astronomy forecasts I found on line, the peak hours will be between 2 and 4 am. Somehow, I just don’t know if I’m going to wake the boys up at Ditch Camp and crawl out of the tent, bundled in our wool caps and down jackets, to view it this year at that hour. The timing is tough. Many a year, we’ve laid out blankets on the pasture and sprawled out next to each other, silently staring up at the heavens, waiting, watching. The only words spoken may be, “There’s another one…” It is always a show worth viewing, if one can.
But it does remind me that it shouldn’t take the big Sky Show to get us out there looking up. It is there any clear night. It is free. It is easy. I suppose in mid summer, it does require staying up a bit late for the deep darkness to settle up here. And having lived in cities in the past, I do understand how difficult it can be to see through all the lights of buildings and traffic and roadways. But it is there. They are there, the stars, silently, secretly awaiting the darkest hour when they will still glimmer and show themselves just a little bit perhaps, but enough to remind us of their presence, so beautiful and magical, so easy and uncomplicated to look at, so far away and yet so intimate. Is there anything able to fill us more with wonder than the sparkling depths of the night sky?
So tonight, although we may not see the Perseids, we will bundle up and lie out on high meadow at Ditch Camp after the sun has long gone, and stare up at the heavens. And you know this will happen: in our still and chill silence, we will be filled with awe and wonder and questions and feel so small, but somehow it all makes sense as you look up at the stars… With all the questions that cloud through ones mind as one stares up in such a simple miracle as the night sky, somehow we just feel right.