Few sights stop my heart and capture my imagination more than the night sky. For as much redneck as there is in me, there is an equal amount of nerd. Astronomy has always been a hobby of mine, so much so that a picture of the known universe taken from the Hubble telescope has a prominent place on the wall of my office.
I’m thankful that I live far enough away from the city lights that I only need to take a few steps out of my back door to see more stars than I can count. Others are not so blessed. But even here sometimes the trees get in the way.
Which is why sometimes both circumstance and a yet to be fulfilled longing for escape sends me atop Afton mountain, the tallest peak of the Blue Ridge around here. There the stars seem close enough to touch and the moon appears as if it’s about to succumb to gravity.
One day, one fine day, I plan on building a cabin at the top of that mountain. Until then, I have to make due by climbing into my truck and driving there.
There are a lot of things you can learn about this world by staring up at others, and there are more you can learn by listening in on a conversation by two people staring up at them with you. That’s what happened to me recently. My eavesdropping paid off, too.
You can read about that conversation over at katdish’s blog. And do me a favor? Before you go to bed tonight, take a second to walk outside. Don’t look around. Look up.