The Perseids meteor showers are peaking tomorrow evening, and I am reminded of the last time that I went out to watch them, which was back in 2007. At the time, I lived in rural central Washington state, and my parents had come to visit me.
Dad was really excited to see the meteor shower, so one evening after dark, we drove a few miles out of town and parked the car along a dark country road. Because we were in a high mountain desert valley, there were few trees or other large objects to obstruct our view of the night sky. We leaned against the car and stared up at the sky for as long as we could until the cold night winds drove us to seek shelter.
I’ll never forget that night, in part because it will be a long time again until I am in the right place at the right time to have such a view of the night sky, unobstructed by artificial lights or large objects. As much as I love the things that make up populated, urban areas, a little part of me wishes I could once again drive a few miles out of town and watch the stars.