By RaeAnne Thayne
Last Friday night, I walked outside to grab something I had left on the patio earlier in the day. I happened to look up and instantly had to catch my breath at the thick clutter of stars in a cloudless summer sky. Though I had a million things to do – pages to write, lists to make, laundry to sort – I called my husband and our ten-year-old son out to enjoy the spectacular sight. Our youngest was already in his pajamas but for a few priceless moments we sprawled out on the trampoline and looked at constellations. Cassiopeia, Orion, the Big and Little Dippers.
My husband is a photographer – he says amateur, I say otherwise – and he couldn’t pass up the chance on that almost-moonless night to capture the splendor. Though it was already past ten, he and our neighbor and good friend took off into the nearby mountains with their cameras and tripods in tow, where the light pollution of houses and cars and people is minimized.
You can see the results. Amazing, isn’t it? The naked eye could never see this many stars but a high-resolution digital camera (on a tripod set at a high ISO with a 30-second exposure, he informs my technique-ignorant mind) can show unimagined wonders.
I could take this blog in many different directions. How spending a little time and effort in life, pausing to savor our surroundings, can yield remarkable results. Or I could quote British astrophysicist and author Sir Arthur Eddington who said, “The more we learn about the universe, the less it looks like a great machine and the more it looks like a great thought.”
I think I’ll end with my husband’s own comment after that night spent in the mountains: “The more my perspective is broadened, the more I wonder what else I’ve been missing.”
What about you? What do you think about when you see a glorious night sky? Have you stopped to savor anything else splendid lately? I’ll give a copy of my two-in-one with Sherryl Woods, Tea & Destiny (which includes my book Light the Stars, appropriately enough!) to one person who responds.