"Do not go gentle into that good night . . . rage, rage against the dying of the light . . ."
~ Dylan Thomas
Fortunately . . . serendipitously, even, nature provides the perfect backdrop for a spectacular "summer finish" every year. If you haven't discovered it yet, or just need a reminder, this month marks the annual celestial event of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Admittedly, it's unpredictable. Cloud cover, rain, or city lights (even moonlight) make the experience hit or miss. But even catching a glimpse of just one shooting star always soothes my soul and reminds me that no matter what the "new year" brings for me, that God is in control. It's always worth the anticipation. Below is a re-post of a blog I wrote in memory of the 2012 shower, and one shining star that I'll always keep close to my heart..
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Some of the best moments in life cannot be planned, though we may try. We're driving to a party and the conversation on the way - and the sunset backdrop - supersede the evening. We're looking for a book, and stumble upon another with words so profound and resonating that it changes our life. We expect and plan for a girl, and we can't imagine life without the boy.
Some of the best moments in life cannot be planned, though science may try. NASA, in conjunction with the Farmer's Almanac, planned a spectacular meteor shower show in the eastern sky for the evening of August 12. . . Wait. What? . . .
So I showed up, and a thick cloud cover blotted the brightest stars. I tried again on the 13th, although it wasn't on the calendar. Clear skies canopied my Jacuzzi for which I had paid an astronomical cover charge a few years before for just such a celestial occasion. And there they were - quick, flashing streaks across the sky, "leftover" shooting stars from the evening before. Anyone who has ever attended one of these events knows that meteor "shower" is a misnomer. You actually gaze intently at the sky for several minutes at a time so as not to miss the next trickle of a star burning itself out as it hurtles towards the earth. So I craned my neck, counting in satisfied delight every time I saw one - 8!, 9!, 10! - to make sure I was getting my money's worth.
Sometimes the moments are seconds, but the impact tricks the brain. It rose up, up out of the south - number 11 - and moved northward, just above the horizon, in a slow, pure arc. . . luminous . . . ethereal . . . heavenly . . . a blue line trailing behind a star against a black sky above the distant glow of small city lights. My breath stopped. The star suspended at the top of the arc, and drifted down, like a snowflake, towards the earth, so close I looked to see where it would land. I forgot to give it a number. It wasn't the same. Three seconds, maybe four burned into my memory so vivid that if I never see another one like it again, it will be enough.