Monday, August 13, 2012

Being Showered by Meteors

A photo of the 2010 Perseid Meteor Shower taken by NASA’s
Marshall Space Flight Center.
Photo courtesy NASA via Flickr Creative Commons.

Five years ago, almost to the day, I set my alarm for 3 am, got my sleeping bag, went outside and lay down on the warm sidewalk to watch the Perseid meteor shower in the dark of the August night sky.

It was an amazing show and I stayed awake watching for over an hour.  And then I fell asleep . . . in the sleeping bag . . . on the sidewalk . . . in front of my house . . . next to the church . . . only to awaken during the 7 am ‘rush hour’ of traffic rushing past.  I lay there for several minutes pondering the reality that I, the preacher, still pretty new to this country parish, was laying on my sidewalk in my pajamas in full view of all the folk going early to work.  Should I pretend to be injured and continue to lie there until a break in the traffic?  Or should I just get up and make a run for the front door?

I made a run for it and scooted back into the house, chuckling at the image I must have left behind in some poor unsuspecting motorist’s bleary morning eyes, treasuring, all the while, the after images in my own eyes from the night before.

If you’ve never fallen asleep to a meteor shower, I recommend it highly.  It’s like being rocked in the cradle of the universe.

Last night, I set the alarm for 3 am.  But I am 5 years older now and so I just stood at my window and watched the shadows of light cast by the meteors flashing in the small bit of sky visible from where I stood and then I went back to bed.

I am the poorer for it.

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