“I see one!”
“Look! There’s another one!”
We had just moved from the suburbs out into the country, away from the streetlights. The sky lost its orange nighttime glow. Out here in the chilly air, the sky was black and the stars sparkled like white diamonds. Beautiful.
It was December 14th. The earth was passing through the tail of Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Meteor Shower Geminids sprinkled the sky with 50 shooting stars per hour. We had been waiting for this day for months. We had studied meteor showers in Exploring Creation with Astronomy. I should have written it on the calendar but I forgot. We were busy with packing and moving and unpacking and by the time December 14th rolled around Geminids was not even a thought. Not a thought until I was outside in the dark with the children because they wanted to study the constellations in the black, black sky. Suddenly a white ball of light shot across the heavens. The largest shooting star I had ever seen. And then another.
“Hey, Guys! I think this is the night of the meteor shower!”
We checked the Internet. I was right. We pulled chairs out to the back lawn. Everybody piled into jackets. I grabbed an armload of blankets. The children ran to the neighbors and came back with Miss Virginia and Miss Norma. We sat in the chairs and wrapped up in the blankets and watched.
“I see another one!”
“I haven’t seen any yet!” This accompanied by crying. We prayed that a shooting star would pass where Lauren was looking. A little while later, “I saw one, Mama! I saw one!” She jumped up and down to provide an exclamation mark to her words.
We sat outside for about forty-five minutes. We saw little lights and big lights sail across the sky. We didn’t want to go in but the cold settled into our bones and sleepiness made our eyelids heavy.
“Good night, Miss Norma!”
“Good night, Miss Virginia!”
We stepped into the warmth and light of our house, shivered into pajamas and crawled into the coziness of our covers, our minds full of blackness and lights.
On Sunday, August 12th, the sky will put on another magnificent show. The earth will pass through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Meteor Shower Perseids will sprinkle the sky with 50 shooting stars per hour. We have it on the calendar this time. We’ll set up the chairs, spray on some bug spray, invite the neighbors over and pass out the lemonade. Then we’ll sit and watch and delight in the heavens that declare the glory of God.
Join us, under your patch of sky.