One of the memories I have of my dad from childhood is that he would wake David and I up on nights that there was a meteor shower. Pack the truck up with blankets. Make a stop at Dunkin’ Doughnuts for some doughnut holes. And head out to a field in the middle of nowhere. We’d lay in the back of the truck, all bundled up, and watch the sky for what seemed like hours.
Those memories have stayed with me, and meteor showers and clear skies that showcase a gazillion stars or an impressive moon still captivate me. I can remember calling dad while at Ga Southern (u-ni-ver-sity) about a meteor shower. And then again when I was on the back of a boda in Uganda because of a particularly stunning and massive full moon. I see brilliant night skies and I think of him. All because of a simple memory. A simple experience together.
I also love the feeling that a night sky brings where you realize just how small you are, and just how great God is. With all the fuss, and pomp and circumstance that comes with our hectic world, there really is not much more spectacular than lying on your back and watching tiny white lights dance about in front of you, in a sort of choreographed and haphazard way.
I had heard that Halley’s Comet would be passing through last night/this morning. And due to my current, in-between homes, living situation, I was staying at my parents house last night. So, dad and I prepared for a twilight wake up call to try to spy the comet.
The sky was clear. The air crisp. And Halley’s Comet was nowhere to be seen. Nor any shooting stars for that matter. For half an hour we stood there and stared at the wonder before us. And also wondered if we had the wrong night. Luckily, I had downloaded the app “SkyView Free”, so instead of comet hunting, we identified constellations and planets! Jupiter and Saturn were bright and stunning! Planets guys! We spotted planets!
(Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here nerding out on stars.)
Although we failed at spotting Halley’s Comet, I’d call the memory making a success. My favorite stories from growing up with my parents aren’t the “things” they bought us, but the experiences, big and small, that they created for us. And for David and I, its carried over to how we live our lives – experiences over things.
Speaking of experiences with my brother….we leave for Machu Picchu in 20 days!!