[Image: courtesy of NASA]
Last night, I woke myself up at 3:30 and stumbled to the patio, then stared, wide eyed, at the sky.
All the lights were off; here and there, I deciphered Cassiopeia and the burning light of Sirius, glimmering Venus. You've probably figured out by now that I'm somewhat an astro-geek, and if you have, I'm here to confirm that it's entirely true. Last night, the Perseids-- an annual meteor shower caused by dust left behind by the evasive Swift-Tuttle comet-- peaked at pre-dawn, and it wasn't something I wanted to miss.
However, when you drag yourself out of bed at 3:30 in the morning and trip over flat surfaces as you walk, your eight-year-old self (who was, I might mention, terrified of the dark) lurks behind you. My eight year old self was an annoyance, albeit one who occasionally wrote good poems and corrected her math teacher more than often in class. She, however, did have a fascination with the stars, so, last night, she didn't bother me too much.
There were tiny ones at first, little sparks that hopped the seemingly small distance between two close stars. I waited, blinking monotonically so as to reload my vision.
Then came two, bright and glowing, one after another in opposite directions. They leaped across the sky in an arch, and they were gone before I quite knew it. Then the small sparks again, for such a very long time.
Suddenly, there it was to my left, a ball of fire. It pummeled the roofs and almost burned the fence, and then disappeared, leaving behind the greatest trail of rainbow debris. I squealed and then forgot to breathe. It was too beautiful. When I stumbled back to my bed fifteen minutes later and closed my eyes, dispersed in the blacks of my eyelids were those meteors, bright and burning, then their trails of dust.