On Boyish Wonder

I needed to put up my car windows. I’d run out to the post office this afternoon–only to fill out a customs declaration I didn’t need–and since it was a gorgeous day I drove with the windows down. (Which is why it’s not uncommon for me to have a horribly sunburned left arm; it’s just how I drive.)

Four years in the heart of Raleigh had made me accustomed to dulled out night skies. There were always too many lights. It never quite got dark enough. I forgot.

Away from city lights–and though Baltimore is about fifteen miles down the road I’m far enough away that there’s little horizon glow–the night sky, on a clear night like tonight, is magnificent. The sky was dark, darker than I’d seen it in a long time. The stars shone like crystals in the dark. The moon, at about a quarter phase, was bright and clear. Halfway between the moon and the horizon Jupiter (at least, I’m assuming it was Jupiter) was a strong light.

I was reminded of a song, a Carbon Leaf song. “Blue Ridge Laughing,” from their third album, Ether-Electrified Porch Music

Caught a red moonrise,
Brought me to our lives.
We used to drive this Blue Ridge laughing.

The red star is Mercury or Venus–
Tell the truth, I don’t really know.
Space brings back boyish wonder.
We run, we run behind.
We run, we run behind.

“Space brings back boyish wonder.” I like that. πŸ™‚

The sky tonight isn’t black so much as it’s deep, and it’s easy to lose one’s self to the deep, the way you can lose yourself in someone’s eyes. Nothing puts life into perspective than the vast distances of space, unfathomable in their size. In the grand scheme of the universe, we are nothing. Just dust. Motes. If you can feel it, it takes your breath away, and your heart jumps a beat or three. Motes in the deep.

The stars, the planets, those little pinpricks of light in the sky. Those aren’t just lights in the night. Those are places that we so often never think about. Places that only live in our dreams, places that live in “boyish wonder.” Places in the deep.

The night sky is magnificent tonight. πŸ™‚

Boyish wonder, indeed. πŸ˜€

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