Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Under the Stars

Last evening I took the opportunity to lay on the damp, dew covered cool ground for a while and reacquaint myself with the stars and the constellations. Heading out shortly after dark was a treat because I spied about ten satellites, saw five meteors, and just looked into space at the Milky Way and the constellations that I have always considered to be my nightime friends.

I don't get to do that so much at home in Elkridge because of the ground light from the urban area in which I live and the trees which surround the small piece of earth that I came mine. I enjoy returning to the area where I grew up and being reassured that all of the stars are still there.

I remember growing up becoming familiar with the stars and dreaming of being an astronaut. While that never happened, my love of space has never waned. I have grown to comprehend more about orbits and satellites and things in space, but as I gain more knowledge my awe and wonder at how it all works has remained. It is so much more an physics and science, it is a wonderfully constructed canvas upon which creation is painted.

Staring into space is looking back into history. The light from the stars that I saw last evening began the journey to my eye long ago in the past. Even the light from our sun takes 8 or more minutes to get to Earth.

And so, for a for a few minutes I was transported back into my childhood looking at the stars while standing on the shore of Cayuga Lake at Boy Scout camp being taught the constellations, many of which I still remember.

It was peaceful, lying in the cool damp grass hearing the peepers and frogs while being transported into my memories.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Ithaca, NY

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