When we first moved aboard Rejoice, Anna asked if we did star viewing from the boat; I said I wanted to learn. She suggested that I sign up for the daily email from Earthsky.org, which has in the ensuing three years become one of my favorite things. Last week it noted that there would be a lovely nest of things happening before sunrise; a little last slip of moon before the new/no moon framed by Venus, Mercury, and Spica.
I'd recently made plans to go out paddling with my friend LauraLee on Election Day to watch the sunrise here in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the sweet little fishing village on Banderas Bay where we've spent the past year. My favorite part of the early morning paddle turned out to be the long process of dawning before the sun rose, which left me very curious about the dark! When I saw this juicy sky event, I asked James if he'd come out with me in the dark before dawn. As is often the case with sky plans, the first day the alarm went off at 4:30 it was overcast and we went back to sleep. The second day, though, was perfect.
When I got home I texted Anna, who you might remember had suggested the resource that got me out here. Anna Hurst is an ACTUAL ASTRONOMER with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Getting people excited about the sky is her passion! I always wanted to be one of those people who knew about the sky, which seemed rather exotic and impossible. It turns out to be, like most things, simply a matter of what one turns one's attention and curiosity to. Anna's response to me is the title of this post. I wept with joy. Friend, you can do this too! The sky is everywhere.
Right now the Leonid meteor shower is peaking, and it's on through the rest of November! The adventure I'm writing of was a few days ago. This morning I got up and went out ON MY BOARD ALONE IN THE DARK to watch the Leonids. The joy and pleasure that fills me in being a wild thing among wild things is giving me the strength to weather these times. I wish this for you, too, to be at peace among the other creatures upon this earth, bright and alive.