What a gorgeous night sky we are lucky to behold just now. With daylight slowly stretching its arm-like rays and once again embracing our northern position, clear winter nights gracefully verge into spring. Thankfully warming the air just enough to deter the bitter wind and allow us to gaze just that wee bit longer. Multiple planets hover near, outshining distant stars and gently reminding us of our home’s location in our solar system.
Built upon memories of siblings as comrades, my love of the sky was sealed early on. I grew up in a very warm, dry, and rural area and so as a child, spent many summer nights camped out under the stars. Surrounded by brothers and sisters, we would stare up and ponder the bright points. Warmly snuggled in an old cotton sleeping bag and listening to crickets sing, I dozed off as my older brothers simultaneously discussed Apollo missions and the possibility of alien life.
Over the years, I have heard commentators explain the vastness of universe by contrasting it with our nearly non-existent size. How we mere humans live on a minuscule planet. This small blue dot, orbiting a tiny, unassuming solar system. Anchored in the Milky Way, on the edge of our galaxy, completely dwarfed by the ever extending universe that surrounds us. As if we are nought but a drifting dust particle. Although scientifically relevant, it seems rather bleak. Who wants to feel so isolated, so small, so insignificant? Perhaps this goes a little way to explain our negligence with light pollution. People often avert their eyes from things they are unsure of, choosing ignorance and the path of least resistance over exploration. By flooding our night sky with excess, wasted light, we effectively block out those daunting sights, those vast distance, and the unfathomable sizes most of us find so very difficult to grasp.
Earth feels pretty big to me. I can appreciate the size of our home planet whilst also appreciating the glory of the night sky. It’s easy to feel comfortable existing on our green-blue gem without having to minimize it in face of the deep blue heaven around. As eyes are the windows to our soul, what we take in, what we see, feeds and nourishes us. Look upon any admired artwork or photo of your precious children and feel your spirit swell.
When I look up at the heavens, I am amazed by the beauty. I can’t help but feel proud to be a part of it. I feel both connected and tiny bit of ownership, like it is mine. It is all of ours really. Our birthright as humans to revel and adore the gorgeous sky surrounding us.
Last night, a quick dash to take out recycling after supper revealed a huge, silvery moon. I called my children to the door and we three ooh-ed and ah-ed and amazed at how close it seemed. Although we rarely get to camp out, I intentionally take every opportunity to instil my love of the sky into the future. Tummies fed, spirits fed, and imaginations rocketing, our day was complete.