Seeing Stars

How many of us get out and simply watch the stars?  Do we stop to look up at night?  Can we be awed enough by the vastness and glory of the universe?  I don’t think so.

The problem around here is this:  in the summer the stars come out late and in the winter it is cold.  Even now, the air temperature drops pretty quickly when the sun goes down.  By the time the stars are at their brightest it is dang chilly.  In the summer the sun might go down after 9:00 pm.  Who remembers to look up by then?

When I wake up at night I look out the window.  Lately I can see Orion rising in the east.  This means winter is just about here.  The hunter comes out for hunting season.  I do not often go out to simply look up however.  I used to do just that but I find it harder to be motivated to take the time now.  When I do take the time I feel the same awe I always have.

I am thinking of getting a telescope.  That would motivate me to look up at night.  When I have used telescopes in the past I have seen the moons of Jupiter and the surface of Mars and the brightness of the Milky Way.  It was amazing and I can’t imagine much has changed.

I can’t see as much here in this house as I could before we moved here.  There are lots of parking lots whose owners feel a need to be able to see the empty asphalt 24 hours a day.  And there are many people who feel the need to light the porch or driveway in case the raccoons or the skunks need to see where they are going. We even have a huge street lamp that lights our road for seemingly no reason, burning all night.  All those lights fade out the stars and the show is less grand.

Tonight the clouds have moved in and Orion walks across the sky above them.  He will be there tomorrow.  Perhaps I will get a chance to greet him then.  Change has been something I have heard lots about this campaign season and I should not be left out.  Maybe one change I can make is to simply get out and see the stars.  Unlike elected officials, they will never disappoint.

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