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Waiting for the Stars

Backyard Astronomy
Image by Bob Moody; Canon PowerShot A10 thru a 12.5" Dobsonian
For years I would occasionally find myself out in the night air, scurrying around to get some extremely important bit of nothing done, never once looking up to see the night sky. Always my eyes would be looking down to the Earth so I wouldn't stumble or fall in the darkness that made up my world.

Then one night as I walked out into the night I did happen to look up just as the full moon appeared from behind a passing cloud, lighting up the place where I stood in it's cool, white glow. The sight was an awesome thing to behold for a then ten-year-old boy, so I just kept looking up. Soon I noticed the moon was not the only thing in the heavens, but just one of the thousands of objects that overwhelmed my senses. Funny how a child discovers his or her world in an instant of wonderous recognition.

It's also funny how you can go through your days always doing the same things in the same old ways until something changes your awareness. From then on, nothing is ever the same again as you begin your quest for knowledge and understanding of this universe we all share. Essentially, that's what happened to me on that moonlit night. It was then I began to realize that there is so much more to living than merely the day to day routines we all find ourselves in. Our lives always seem to get into a groove, or rut as it were, and that rut just keeps getting deeper until one day we stop looking down. It's at that point, when we start to look up, that we realize how deep that rut really is, and how easy it is to climb out of it if we just keep looking up.

So now I have a thought for all of you who find yourselves looking down into the rut. The next time you go out at night, be a child again, and stop where you are, stand still for a moment, and look up. If you do this every time you wander under the night sky, you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll find yourself actually waiting throughout the daylight hours for the stars to come into view each night!

Enjoy the view

Ed Wemmerus, Vice-President AOAS - 2006
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