When I was a little kid, it was a pretty big deal to wish on the first star I saw each evening. And now, as an adult, I still like to do it--though the wishes have changed. Shhh...don't ask. I can't tell. I'm sure wishes on stars are just like wishes on birthday candles. If you tell-- they don't come true.
And as an adult, I've developed a love of watching the stars come out. Have you ever done it? After the sun sets, the watch starts. And the stars appear mysteriously. A moment earlier there was no star there, but now there is. An abracadabra kind of thing--another kind of magic in our lives.
In my part of the world, (western Pennsylvania, USA) our light pollution is minimal. But horizons are generally obscured by light. So for our best view, we look up at the universe. It's nearly overwhelming-- how many stars are visible on a clear night. And the thoughts that go through my mind??
Who are we--humans as a whole? Who are our ancestors? What are we doing here, and why are we here? And are we really alone? Surely...there must be others. Well, that might be at the root of my scifi-ish leanings when I put pen to paper--or fingers to keyboard as the case usually is. :-)
Why are we so drawn to it? What pulls our eyes heavenward? And then we are mesmerized, thinking long, deep thoughts that nothing else comes so close to inspiring. It's not just me. Ask yourself. Ask anyone--what do you think about when you are gazing at the stars?
There's real mystery there, but it's not a frightening. It's an unknown that we're comfortable with.
The universe. There's just so much out there. And the thing about it is that it's a conundrum. The more we know about it, the less we know.
When I was a little girl, I remember listening to my sister, Anna, talk about Neil Armstrong's famous walk. A few hours before it happened--and it was all the talk of everyone everwhere, Anna said, "I hope they find out it really is made of blue cheese!"
Yep, we were a simple bunch of people. And I think that what my sister said was very telling. We want to have some mysteries remain. We want to be able to just look up at the universe and dream.
*note--if you have an Android powered cellphone, and you don't already know about this free app, check out Skymap. Once you load it on your phone, click on the app, any way you move your phone, it identifies the stars, planets, an constellations in whichever direction you point your phone. Really, really neat app.
A couple photos--both mine. One, the moon, as taken. Another, a pic of the sunset, filtered for color and stars added, one little old dot at a time with Windows Paint.
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