Friday, August 10, 2007

Look Up

“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!”

“Good night!”

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.


Mary@notbefore7 said...

In middle school, we were at a State Park in PA, camping. The State Park was DESERTED! There was NOT A SOUL there. (yes, I remmeber because middle schoolers invent all kinds of horror tales in their mind)

Well, we all layed out on a picnic table to stare at the most beautiful sky EVER. Then, a shooting star went clear across the sky - from one end to the other. I have never forgotten such a gorgeous site!

What great memories for your kids to carry with them. I hope we can find a place to go Sunday night, of course, mine are so little that it is hard to keep them up...might just be the hubby and I.

Jennifer said...

I, too, have a beautiful memory of a meteor shower. I was visiting an old friend who had moved away, back in high school. We drove out to a field with her family and watched more shooting stars than I could count! That was a fun night, thanks for making me stop to remember that today!
We, too, did Apologia's Astronomy book 2 years ago, and followed it up with a trip to the planetarium. Who knew learning could be so much fun?!
I enjoy your blog - in fact, I've linked it to mine. Lori at "All You Have to Give" recently got me hooked (she's a great friend!), and it has been a pleasure.

Alana said...

I love meteor showers and all things astronomy. If ever anything increased my faith in God it is the sheer vastness of our universe.

Thank you so much for letting us know. I'm putting it on the calendar right now!

lori said...

you brought back a faded hubby and I were in the UP of Michigan before we had kiddos..and we were told that there was going to be a "show" that night...they told us to climb to the top of the alpine ski ramp...we did and watched one of the most magnificent expressions of God dazzling us from the heavens!! You took me back 16 years! thank you!:)

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Oh, enjoy! My husband and daughter got up at 3 am a few years ago to take in a fantastic meteor show. I was too tired to get up at the time but I've regretted it ever since. These are worth seeing.

eph2810 said...

Too bad that we live in a big city and the heaven's will be not so bright as at your place :) But I will try to remember tomorrow night and step out on the back-porch.

Have a blessed Sunday :)

Sunydazy said...

Oh how nice of you to share this info...I would've heard about it the next day! :-) I will be planning an outdoor event for us. It'll be fun to think of all the other families enjoying the same thing.

Janelle said...

Your blog is a pleasure to read. I love the way you draw your readers in and paint the most beautiful picture.

We will be watching the sky! Thanks for the tip.

Christy said...

I remember when I was very young we lived in the dessert for a while, and we used to sit out back and watch the stars and look for shooting stars all the time. I remember being the one who didn't see them a lot of the time, too!