Thursday, 27 October 2011

Star gazing

I live in a little village just at the northern edge of the Central belt of Scotland.  Above our house, on the north side of the village is a hill.  It's our hill.

Tonight I walked up there and around the meadow with the Waggy-tailed-one.  It was a bit chilly but the stars were beautiful, so I took the opportunity to lie down on a bench and stare up at them.  The Waggy-tailed-one snuffled around me, despairing at my sanity.

I couldn't see any black spaces up there.  Any dark areas, when you looked at them, turned out to be full of fainter stars, and any dark areas between them, more stars, even fainter.  I picked out the Plough.  It's the only one I really know.  I looked at sparkling stars and wondered whether they were planets or satellites.  I saw movement, and wondered whether these were satellites or planes.  Then I saw a shooting star.  Lying there, on a bench with the mist forming on my breath, looking at the enormity of space, I almost felt I could feel the earth turn on its axis.

I heard an owl hoot nearby.  I felt the moist, hot breath of the dog on my cheek.  Above me the beginnings of clouds began to gather softly over the hill.  What a beautiful world we live in.  Time to go home.

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