Monday, August 13, 2012

We're surrounded by a billion galaxies.

First the earth was flat,
but it fattened up when we didn't fall off,
now we spin laps round the sun.

All the gods lost 2-1,
and holes to heaven pointed out to us from light years away,
we're surrounded by a billion galaxies.

Things are not always how they seem.

In the early hours of morning, we loaded up the still new camping chairs and a pile of blankets into the back of the big red truck. I charged camera batteries, dug out a shutter remote and still managed to forget to set the camera settings in the bright light of our living room. We grabbed a pillow for good measure, and for myself, a cup of chai tea, and headed out Frontage Road.

The thing about Montana is, there’s not much ambient light. We hadn’t driven far when we realized that you could see the entire Milky Way like a creamy streak through the center of the sky. Until this moment, I don’t know that I even understood how many stars were in the sky, that you could really see a galaxy, or that falling pieces of debris could bring wishes.

So there we sat, in a dusty pull off, just off the highway, in red camping chairs, watching the sky. Every now and then a car would pass and the blinding lights would be a reminder of how ridiculous we must look, just camped out, shivering, on a dusty fishing-spot pull off. 

For weeks the meteors have made an appearance as Trevor took the same road home and last night, they didn’t dissapoint. We saw twenty, perhaps more. In open fields, the temperature falls fast and we huddled in the back of the truck beneath the now dusty blankets I had packed. I kicked my sandals off onto the dirt road and tucked my cold toes under me, in hopes of being more patient.  We pointed out constellations and wondered how the blinking lights of planes or satellites could possibly be so far away. We wondered at how fast and how big a meteor must really be to make such a bright impact on our skies. 

And then, finally, I caught one.
A tiny, faint, whisper in the center of the frame.


  1. Wow, sounds and looks lovely! That's for sure one thing I miss out on by living in a city :) Next year I might drive out to the countryside to witness it myself.

  2. Well worth the drive! Even living in a tiny country town, we had to drive outside of town to really see - definitely worth it.