A good portion of my drive home from work is done in darkness; lit only by my headlights and the night sky. Most of my time is spent on the look out for drunk drivers and random wildlife playing Russian Roulette with two ton vehicles. But when the skies are like they were last week, I tend to sneak peeks upward.
Wednesday I looked up and saw it; a shooting star. It happened in a blink of my eye. Zip and it was gone. When I told Yoda about it, he asked if I had made a wish. I told him it took me so much by surprise that I forgot. He said that was okay just seeing the star could be my wish. He can be pretty smart, that Yoda.
Turns out I was seeing the meteors of the Quadrantids and if I had pulled over, I probably would have seen quite a fireworks show.
Seeing that star (or meteor dust, as it was explained to be by Yoda) put me in a thoughtful mood. I remember sitting out in the cold night long ago watching one of the annual meteor showers overhead.
Going through a rather difficult stage in my life, I sought solace in the quiet and beauty of the night. Alone out there, I felt out of time, released from the stresses of the situation. Each little piece of dust that left its streak across the sky had me ooing and ahhing as if it was the 4th of July. I went inside only when the sun began to lighten the backdrop.
I’d like to say that the time I spent under the shooting stars gave me some profound outlook and I became a wiser human being at one with the universe and all that jazz, but it was not to be.
I awoke the next day tired and with a stiff neck from looking up from my lawn chair for so many hours. The pressures had not lifted and life would remain quite difficult for some time to come.
But what those tiny bits of frying meteor dust did give me eighteen years ago, was a memory. A memory of space without measured time; a glimpse into the vast expanse beyond my little wretched world. They gave me a smile.
There’s supposed to be another major meteor shower coming in late April this year, the Lyrids. The peak is supposed to be the 21st, a Saturday. It’s marked on my calendar. Come out and join me; create a memory.
And don’t forget to make a wish.