One of my bests from childhood was sky-watching. We lived on the flat, open prairie, with few houses or buildings to significantly block the horizon in any direction. On our deck in the company of family or friends, I watched thunderstorms build from miles away and approach with lightning and thunder rocking the sky and earth, only driving us in when wind and rain reached us under the rooftop overhang. The Northern Lights danced the skies in silence more rarely, silencing us in its beauty. On clear nights in all seasons I’d lie down in the front yard, far enough from everything that all I could see was the sky. Without trees or buildings in your peripheral vision to anchor you, you perceive that you are truly on a sphere in space. That up is no different from down and instead of securely looking up at the sky, you are suspended above the deepest abyss of indigo, midnight and black, set with blazing and muted planets, stars and galaxies, with our own galaxy, indeed, a faded milky streak across the panorama, so impossibly distant it is hard to believe it is home.
The infinite is all around us, all the time. We and everything around us are made up of unimaginably small particles that are buzzing around furiously, as we are suspended in an incomprehensibly large universe full of uncounted objects that are also in constant motion. Quantum and cosmic meet inside our minds where we ponder these great unfolding mysteries. This comforts me on days when little things insist they are a big deal.
That’s one of the things this part of the country is so good for…endless night skies and the solitude to enjoy them.
True that! A quiet solace.
“There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers.”—Isaiah 40:22.
I used to lay on the back of Sandpiper, watching the night sky while listening to the crispy crunch of alfalfa being snarfed up. I didn’t feel quite so small with my trusty steed with me, but it was still significant. I miss taking those moments to just engage with my surroundings. On that thought, I think I’m going to go look for those Northern Lights.
Beautiful! I miss the South Dakota sky!
Me too! The nighttime glow of the Twin Cities metro area limits my star viewing, but I always have it in my heart!
LOVE this post! Read it over and over. Esp the last paragraph. One of my favorites.
Thank you! When the problems seem big it is time to turn to something bigger, right?
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