Yesterday my older sister called me, and told me that at 4:00 AM she planned to be lying on a blanket in a nearby park to watch the Leonid meteor shower. As always, I was impressed by her gumption to do wonderful things.
At 4:00 AM my eyes flew open, unbidden. I thought of my sister, threw on some clothes and went outside. The dogs joined me, but after about 2 minutes on the frosted grass they were banging on the door and all trooped back to bed.
I stood in the yard, head back, pinwheeling slowly. The air was cold enough to make my eyes water, the night perfectly clear. There we were, my sister and me. In different states, we were under the same dome of sky and stars.
For me, the only sound was the rushing of water from the little creek that boarders the meadow. I didn't see any meteors. I thought to myself, "Oh, I missed it." But I took in the silhouette of the huge maple, the stars behind her looking like a flock of fireflies landed on her branches. I listened to the silence and the water. I felt the frost under my feet, smelled the evergreen scented air of Maine. And all around me, from the treeline to the unfathomable heavens above, were stars. Glimpsing at the house I could see the dim light from a forgotten lamp peeking through lace curtains. A warm haven plunked in the middle of a light show.
Once inside I climbed back into bed. My husband, sleeping soundly, gathered me to him, chasing the chill air off my skin. I didn't miss a thing.