There’s something primal about being immersed in absolute darkness while gaping skyward at the universe around us. A full moon casts its spell over the landscape while we bask in its magic. Meteors dart from one quadrant of the sky to another, as if playing Hide & Go Seek. Witnessing the sun’s arrival while the moon slinks beyond the horizon is worth the sacrifice of normal slumber.
Many times in Costa Rica, my friends and I have celebrated the random eclipses and meteor showers. Conversations between friends entertain us, but how beautiful it is to stare skyward in collective silence until a meteor sizzles through the scene and prompts exclamations of wonder!
This weekend’s annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. If your local weatherman forecasts clear skies, why not plan a star-gazing evening? Go to bed early and awaken at midnight for the best opportunity for a memorable evening; as we pass through an old path of the Swift-Tuttle comet, specs of dust, metal and stone transform into shooting stars!
When I lived in Costa Rica, I often strung a hammock between two leafless trees and enjoyed the annual Leonids each November. For four or five days I counted hundreds each night until eventually I questioned, “Just how many meteors does one need to see?!”
Last night I ventured outside around 1, only to see the usual band of clouds that often shrouds the equator. Each night is worth a peek, and I hope that one of these years I’ll witness one of those rare meteor storms of hundreds per hour. I certainly don’t want to hear, “While you were sleeping, the star watchers of the world witnessed a rare meteor storm!”
Counting meteors while being immersed in nature, surrounded by the universe, and tapping into the quieter side of one’s soul awakens our senses; why not plan an outing to the closest dark corner of your world! Witnessing the event with friends magnifies the experience!
May your skies be clear on Saturday night, and may your evening be streaked with meteors! Z