Shooting stars

Tonight we are going down to Stokes Bay to look for shooting stars. We missed the peak of the Perseud meteor shower which was yesterday because of the clouds but who knows maybe tonight will be a good night….

Just got back and sad to say I was disappointed. I thought I saw two but like most shooting stars, once you think you have seen them they are gone and you start wondering whether you imagined the whole thing. The sad thing is that the sky was still a little cloudy but the light pollution prevented a good clear view of that dark ultramarine sky that is so full of stars that it is impossible to spot a space in between them. Orange lights shone across the Bay from the mainland, fireworks illuminated the skies from the Isle of Wight, car headlights brightened the area until the glare was blinding before they shrank away into the darkness in a glowing red tail light chasing white cones of light along the road. The evening sky had still not released her hold on the light of day and at 9.45 a large part of the sky clung onto the fingers of light, illminating the clouds that scudded onto the darkest piece of sky, mocking the darkness, laughing in the face of the impending night. Soon winter will have her say and the skies will be lit with fires so amazing that daylight will bow away gracefully as soon as their dying embers fade.

It all reminds me of a wonderful time in the country, where television was an obsolete piece of equipment because outside of the window there was such beauty and excitement. The air excited my senses as it changed throughout the day. Hot summer air where the smell of road driven cows left the air heavy with  farmyard perfume,rich and somehow  comforting, cooler evening breezes carrying honeysuckle and roses to mingle with woodland forest pine and dusk air as it chilled, freshening the atmosphere as the day released her hold to the chorus of crickets in the undergrowth. The night with its busyness, the smell of cool earth, the sound of the night creatures busying themselves with digging and foraging for food. Snuffling hedgehogs, barking foxes, deer clattering through the trees and many owls screeching loudly and harshly while others hooted softly throught the night. And then the stars were so bright and so many, it took a whole evening just to watch the night sky enthralling as each different set of stars shone their patterns, or floaters, we called them, tiny objects of jetsom that floated high through space reflecting the sun, now far round the other side of our world, following an oddly patterned path here and there until finally disappearing from sight.

‘Maybe its an alien spacecraft.’ Imaginations are activated by looking at the night sky, there is a kind of peace and sense of our place in the world very similar to the feeling of being among mountains or the bottom of a gorge, standing before a thrashing ocean in the wind or sitting in a forest where no one can see you. Feelings that give us some perspective to our smallness and insignificance in the world yet being part of it, an important part. Feeling an awe whilst standing in such magnificent creation and realising, ‘there is a God’.

This world is a beautiful place, a very beautiful place and we need to take the time to stop and look at it. Get rid of those negative thoughts and see, I mean really see what we do have. Ok I might have been disappointed tonight but when I stopped and thought about it, I spent a few precious moments with Harry, just us, no family, visitors, just the two of us and we were standing there on the shore looking up at the sky together. A while ago H might have laughed at me but tonight he said nothing, he just watched the sky, looked across the Bay and we shared these moments listening to the waves lapping gently on the shingle and feeling the warm summer air on our skin. We connected with the world, with each other and it was just great. Maybe next year when the meteor showers come we can arrange to be somewhere out in the country away from the light, sitting in the night and maybe making a wish together.


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