|Night Flight by Becky Ripley, see more beauty and wisdom at BeckyRipley.com|
On the morning before the night of the Geminid meteor shower,
thinking watching would be too cold, too late, too hard, too dark,
a bright dragonfly appeared as a gift from a friend.
She hies toward a luminous moon surrounded by shooting stars,
pulled by inner vision, braving all to connect with the light.
Hers is a Night Flight of courage and willingness to follow beauty
and the wisdom of nature.
How could I not follow her guidance?
Wikipedia states: The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a "rock comet" orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.
However, what made me want to brave the cold night was color and quantity. This year promised as many as 150 meteors per hour in very dark areas. And, Accuweather.com hooked me with, "In addition to the high frequency of meteors, the Geminids are known for featuring shooting stars that are bright and intensely colored. These colors are caused by the elements that make up the meteors. As they burn up in the atmosphere, the elements glow in vibrant colors with each color relating to a specific element.”
I began my vigil at 9 p.m., multi-layered and eager. Two quick streaks gave me hope for the crescendo expected at 2 a.m.. I set an alarm for midnight and dozed.
A ring tone later, bundled in Patagonia thermals and wool, I sat in a plastic chair just yards from the tempting warmth of bed. Orion’s belt caught my adjusting eyes and I began to contemplate ancient sky watchers.
Who were those people from long ago
who braved the night cold and made friends
with bright constellations and unraveled their movements?
How many long nights would I have had to sit here
before I recognized the patterns above me?
How could I have held that immensity in my head
in order to share it with my people in stories and dance?
The meteors were few;
the night cold,
the unexpected gift
of connection across time