Last night Marq and I rose at 1:30 a.m., grabbed a flashlight and headed to the pool. The temperature hovered around 85, the pool a few degrees warmer. For a full hour we drifted under the night sky and watched meteors rain down above us.
“Make a wish!”
“Missed that one.”
“A huge one!” blasted a trail of light for a full second or two, and soon we lost count, 20, 25, 30. I floated in sync with the night, with my husband — our fingertips barely touching, barely not.
The Perseid meteor shower, now at its peak, occurs every year from mid-July until the last week in August. Each summer Earth’s orbit takes us close enough to Comet Swift-Tuttle that its debris field extends into our atmosphere. The debris lights up the sky and we sit in awe below (Source).
We lasted only an hour, then headed back into the house, eager for sleep. Marq fell into an easy slumber while I lay shivering with a wet head, distracted by the ceiling fan above me. Soon the cat cozied up against my feet and my mind began to drift…..
…..back to the pool, the meteors, the comet above, our Earth below, the Universe, the vastness of it all. I thought about the truth that all life originates from the stars that “(e)very single atom in your body—the calcium in your bones, the carbon in your genes, the iron in your blood, the gold in your filling—was created in a star billions of years ago” (Source).
So much to ponder!
Only then did I feel small and insignificant. Only then did I feel content, knowing that all the wishes of the night had already been granted.
Firstbrook, David. Photo, Isle of Wight. August 12, 2015. http://www.space.com/22335-perseid-meteor-shower-photos-wow-stargazers.html
McClure, Bruce. “Everything you need to know: Perseid meteor shower.” Earth Sky. August 02, 2015. http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower. August 13, 2015.
Tyson, Peter. “The Star In You.” Nova. December. 12, 2010. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/star-in-you.html. August 13, 2015.