Friday, January 22, 2010

The Winter Sky: A Love-Hate Relationship

I have a love-hate relationship with winter.

Basically, I hate winter. It is cold and snowy or raw and rainy. Yech!

I'd much rather be on a beach somewhere. Toes in the sand contemplating my next diving or snorkeling adventure and working hard to somehow stay away from Orlando and the painted-on disingenuous smiles.

But--as I was taking Makayla out for her evening stroll the other night, it was one of those rare (at least this winter) nights when the sky was clear and I could see the stars. I looked up into the heavens and there was Orion, my favorite constellation. I look forward to seeing my friend Orion every autumn and saying good-bye to him in the springtime. It is just one of those weird things I do.

The most recognizable stars of Orion: Betelgeuse and Rigel, I have long considered to be friends because I know their names. It is amazing how comforting it is to look up into the sky and see recognizable forms and named friends. Even during the summer there are so many constellations and stars that help make the vastness and solitary nature of space closer and more friendly.

I remember once when I was in Australia, I had the opportunity to spend a moonless evening in the outback which was illuminated with nothing but the stars. And they are bright there. It was amazing, how bright the landscape seemed illuminated by nothing other that stars. I felt very close to them, and comfortable bathed in their light.

So--although I hate winter, I love seeing my friend Orion as the great hunter watches over me during his sojourn across the sky. I also enjoy it when he finally disappears from the sky, because I know that summer is upon me again. I admit though--I know that Orion's return signals the end of my summer, and that is the hate part of our relationship.

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