A cool August night. I step out onto my deck, talking on the phone as I watch the sky, looking for familiar landmarks of dippers and myths.
"If you can catch a few, it's amazing," he says.
My reply is interrupted with an involuntary "ooooh," as a long, bright meteor streaks across the panoply of stars in the blueblack sky.
I hang up the phone, layer on fleece, and wrap my trusty pink pashmina scarf around my neck. I brew a cup of vanilla scented tea. I perch on a cold chair on my deck, arching this way and that for views of the whole sky. Nothing. I stand, eyes scanning the sky for a streak of brightness against the pinpricks of dying light, traveling so far across space and time. I bend my back, yogi style, to see the sky more perfectly.
I think of special relativity, and my most basic understanding of the phenomenon that perspective alters how we experience space and time and distance.
I think about this summer, how moments have seemed to stretch beyond eternity, how months almost seem like years, how new conversations seem to have been started before I was even born.
I catch a tiny meteor on the edge of my vision, nearly imperceptible as it trails across the bowl of stars.
I drink in the quiet of this summer night, the stillness even in my city neighborhood, the gentle din of air conditioners the only sound. And then the sudden, swift rustle of a small animal scaling the neighbors' tree, startling me into spilling the steaming tea all over myself.
I breathe in the sheer magnificence one last time, eyes searching the sky for moments of wonder, finding plenty, even if not of the meteor variety, and then head inside to sleep, perchance to dream serendipitous dreams.
"the most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. it is the sower of all true science. he to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe is as good as dead. that deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe forms my idea of god." Albert Einstein