Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Of stars and meteors

I watched the last glow of the evening fall into the west before I clambered up onto the roof of the boat. The cool steel was a shock to my warm fingers and I lay, bundled in blankets and darkness, as the sky stood gaping above me.

There was little cloud last night and the moon was so slim a slither that the stars stood bright and endless overhead. The air was still and the river quiet, and I wondered what I would miss if I lived in a house. How could I bear the confines of bricks and a roof I could not climb to lie upon, and how would I cope with not seeing the vast expanse of universe above me for the orange glow of street lamps? I feel connected here, upon our boat, floating on the Thames. I feel like I am part of it. I sense the thin, wispy strand of web that holds me in my landscape. And last night I felt that thread twitch as I watched and marveled at satellites pass and the Perseids fall.

I wish I had a camera that could capture the beauty of stars so numerous and vivid that I struggled to map out constellations. I wish I could render into words the elegance of the world at that particular time to share here, now. But I have not and I cannot, for I lack the skill. The Perseids are due to peak over the next few days; if you can, go out into the darkness and see for yourself the utter splendour they present.

Where to look for the Perseids (clicky, click; linky, link)

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