then later in the day, mindy read in the news that there was going to be a meteor shower last night. she asked if i thought we'd be able to see any, and i responded with a maybe. mindy has never seen a shooting star. she grew up in a modern metropolis where light/particulate pollution blocks out that kind of wonder (the man who claimed 'the sky is the limit,' must have been from a city). i grew up in indiana, in the city, the suburbs, and the middle of nowhere, and the stars were something i always stared at from the back seat of my dad's classic caprice driving back and forth through the empty landscape. i had a cheap little telescope when i was a kid, but i always found wonder at just simply cranking my neck back and standing mouth agape staring into the infinite distance. but even living in a rural world i never saw a shooting star until i was in college. i took a photo class that included a 3 week driving/camping/on-the-road trip to the american west. for a few nights, we stayed at an A-frame hunting lodge in the middle of an 11000 acre wyoming ranch and the only human light you could see was the 3 or 4 lamps glowing from the buildings on the property. i slept alone under the stars out on the deck of the lodge the first night there and i remember feeling small, but in the sense of feeling connected. i saw my first several shooting stars that night. and i wanted mindy to have that kind of experience.
|(photo credit: Mike Hankey/ space.com)|
we jumped in the van around 12:30am and stopped at steak n' shake for some late night processed poison in the form of a burger and fries. then we drove out away from the city about 20 minutes. we finally found a spot that felt comfortable to pull off and park for a while. we got out and looked up. and immediately the light show began. shooting sparks of fire flaring here then there then over there. i've never seen so many in such a short about of time. and the smile on mindy's face made it worth the cold and creepy darkness out in the middle of nowhere beside some guy's busted-ass rotting old building. i love that look of wonder and interest in her eyes. i think mindy may want stars for christmas this year too.