Photo credit: The Purple Milky Way by Donncha Ó Caoimh
It has been far too long since I’ve watched stars in the deepest part of the night. It has been too long since I’ve watched stars at all.
Before our childrens’ athletic schedules consumed every weekend of spring and fall, we camped regularly as a family. Here in the Appalachians, we pitched tents near Old Rag, Mount Rogers, and in West Virginia.
In the mountains, the sky is filtered by trees. Our tent is usually sheltered under a dense canopy, and we do not see stars at night. In Minnesota, though, we camped in the open. Our children were small, and we backpacked to an isolated hillside. That night, in a sea of prairie grass, there was no glow of city lights. Nothing masked the vastness of the dark night sky dusted with stars. The absense of interference was absolute, and humbling: it was just us and the deepness of space.
We were small under that big black sky splashed with starlight. Our son, who was six at the time, wanted to sleep outside the tent, without shelter, under the dome of the universe. His dad slept out with him, and they woke to daddy longlegs and dew.
That’s the last time I remember stopping and paying attention to stars. That was six years ago. Maybe it’s time to stop again and look up.
Thank you to Fabulousness Unleashed for the prompt “Stars at 3AM.”
For the month of November, I will be participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.