Come walk with me, won't you? At this time of year, it's too hot to walk during the day, so I walk at twilight. That means it's too dark to take pictures on my point-and-shoot camera, so you'll need to use your imagination a bit.
The asphalt on our street is still radiating warmth. But the air is cooling, and there's a little breeze that makes walking pleasant. I have about twenty minutes of twilight to wander and wonder.
Early into my walk, I pass a yard that is neatly mowed except for a patch of tall grass near the front step of the house. From this oasis comes the startlingly loud chirp of a cricket. It lives there, I think, because I hear it every evening on my way by. Does the cricket live there because its patch of grass is safe, or do the homeowners leave that grass unmowed because the cricket lives there? I don't think I'll ask, because I don't want to spoil the magic.
A little further along, I pass three elderly pine trees. They are half brown this year, and I suspect they are dying. But from their upper branches comes the breathless murmuring and whistling of a half a dozen mourning doves jostling for sleeping positions. (For an amazing close up video of a mourning dove cooing, go HERE. As it explains, they take in a big gulp of air, and expel it through their nasal cavities to make that trademark cooing noise.)
If I turn left now, I'm headed for the river. This time of night, there is often a train passing through town in the distance, and the screeching and clacking of metal wheels turning on metal tracks carries clearly to my ears. The streetlights and the walking trail lights are all on by now, and they glow softly in the darkening air.
If I had turned right, instead, I'd reach a busier street, but even it is pleasant at this time of night; there are few cars passing and even fewer other evening walkers. Light spills from windows, and dogs who have already had their after-supper walk give a woof (if large) or (if small) yap furiously at me from behind screen doors.
If I'm lucky, I see the new neighbourhood twin fawns and their mama out and about. These aren't the twins of last year, because these ones still have their spots. My husband found them bedded down in our back yard in broad daylight a few weeks ago. Mama was nowhere to be seen. I'm glad she felt our yard was a safe place to leave them while she did errands ... or whatever mama deer do when they go off by themselves. But at the edge of darkness, they are on the move, eating and likely heading for the river to get a drink.
I'm hoofing it pretty steadily because I am not wearing reflective clothing, and I know how hard it is to see a walker at twilight, and I want to get home before it gets completely dark and my husband sends out the search and rescue folks.
But somewhere near the end of my walk, I take a moment to stop, and lift my eyes to the sky, and look at the dark velvet heavens lit by tiny twinkling stars, and marvel - as always - that I am gazing into a space so vast and unknown that I don't know if humanity will ever learn all its secrets. Astronomy has made many discoveries, and we certainly know more than we used to ... but will we ever know it all?
The sky, by night or day, and the endless distance beyond it, is what awes me, and fills my heart, and lifts me up. And it's right over our heads all the time ...
... unlike some celestial events, which shall be unnamed except in the post title but which I disregarded last week like a grumpy old woman, which perhaps I am :)
Not my photo, but it looks just like "my" sky. (Pixabay photo)
I hope you have a weekend with some awe in it. And if all else fails ....... go outside, and look up.
(Granted, some days there's going to be a big ol' mess of clouds in the way, but it's the principle of the thing, isn't it? And you've got a good imagination, don't you? Well, then!)