i grew up watching the perseids every summer. my mom would let us stay up late and it didn’t matter where we were (at home on the farm, camping, etc) but my brother and i would lay and gaze at the sky with her.
things happen, we grew up, and old family traditions kind of fell away. for many years, i’ve lived in large cities, and it’s hard to see astronomical events when the sky is full of light pollution. while i was living in san diego, i attempted to watch the perseids but it was never successful. the sky was always cloudy.
this past weekend, i got an incredible double-dose of perseids that totally satisfied the years-long gap. first, on friday night, i was out in the country, watching them from my friend’s front yard . lots of trees (and a mountain!) cutting into the horizon and reducing what we could see, but it was still a beautiful show. it was so dark we could see the milky way. i have not seen stars so bright in months. in many respects, this was very similar to the experiences i had as a child, quietly laying on the grass in a rural area, no streetlights cutting into my star-sight, just waiting for stars to burn across the sky.
the next night was mal’s birthday party. a group of us piled onto her sundeck, watched a movie (baz lurmann’s romeo + juliet! swooooon) and then watched the sky. it felt so good to be close to a bunch of people i really like & sharing this experience that made me feel so warm and fuzzy in this way that only comes from reflections of positive things from one’s childhood. like, maybe little arinn would be so pleased that big arinn still watches the sky, and has friends who also think it’s a worthwhile and incredible thing to do. it was a really lovely counterpoint to the night before–even though we were in the city & the sky was crowded with unwanted lights, quite a few meteors were still visible and it was so fun to be experiencing the wonder of the event with a bunch of people i am fond of.