As a little girl I stood tight beside my Dad, our backs pressed up against the brick wall of our house, our heads craned upwards, watching, waiting for Sputnik to pass over our night sky. He was a keen astronomer from his youth so while we waited in the cool night air for the Soviet satellite, Dad took the time to point out the Pole Star, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Arcturus, Sirius, Orion, Alpha Centauri and anything else visible on a clear night. He always was the first to spot the moving point of light arcing across the sky above us.
"There, look there," his finger stabbing the sky above us, "there it is. Sputnik!"
"I see it Daddy, I see it!" I squealed.
Then silence, a deafening silence engulfed us, my little hand clutched inside of his big one. I'm not sure who had the tighter grip as we watched, eyes then bodies turning to follow the alien orbit until it disappeared out of sight. "Amazing...absolutely amazing..." Dad whispered.
The night sky is one of the few places left that still holds a profound sense of mystery. One of the joys of living in the rural routes is seeing the sky in all her glorious light. When I look up into that blanket of darkness pin-pricked with twinkling lights I am always awestruck, almost overcome with wonder and uncertainty, reverence and scepticism, amazement and bewilderment. And one other emotion lurks in the background - a prickling of fear, that ancient human angst that rises in the darkness of night.
And so it was when I waited and watched for the rise of a Supermoon last night, filled with the same wonder and excitement, fascination and awe; filled with history and science, silence and handholds.
And a bit of moon glow:
©2014 April Hoeller