Thursday, August 15, 2013

Unbelievable.

It is an utter and complete shock to me that I've never been outside in the real dark. In my 46 years, have I never been so far away from the city that I've not "properly" seen the night sky? I know The Big Dipper and Orion and that's pretty much all there is, right? Apparently not.

Witness this exchange between Scott and me while on our road trip. We were at a tiny motel on a tiny island (ironically the largest freshwater island in the world) in the middle of nowhere, sitting outside our motel door on plastic lawn chairs. Just for perspective, the closest "big" town was 35 minutes away with a population of 2700. So maybe 6 streetlights?

Me: How can there be clouds when all the stars are out?
Scott: Those aren't clouds, that's the Milky Way.
Me: Are you kidding me? No way.
Scott: Yes "Way". See what I did there?
Me: Seriously? (I get up from my chair and walk to the middle of the parking lot) This is flipping amazing. How have I not ever seen this before? It's beautiful.
Scott: You can come camping with me anytime.
Me: Still not worth it. (Still marvelling at the bigness of it) When people see all this, how can they still say we're alone in the universe? There have to be an endless number of combinations up there. We can't be the best thing that infinity can come up with. It's impossible.
Scott: You need to watch less Doctor Who.
Me: Says the man who got me series 5 for my birthday.

That night I stayed gazing up with my neck craning for so long that I had a sore back the next day. Plus I got the see some of the Perseid meteor shower. Incredible. And if you hear that I cried a little thinking of the enormity of it all, I'll call you a damned liar.

kxx

See? To this city girl, they look like clouds




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