Saturday, 13 August 2016


I went out last night. Quite literally, it was well into the night when I went out, out to see the Perseid meteor shower. I went with some friends, all of us gathering together at a friend's place first, then driving out to an old church in the countryside. We got to our meteor watching spot at about 11:30 and, after about a half an hour letting our eyes adjust to the darkness, we set about to watching the skies.

Most were in chairs, I in my wheelchair, but a lucky two were able to lay on the ground and look straight up. I so much wanted to do this, to escape my chair and lay back on the ground like I used to do. I can remember, both as a kid and as an adult, laying backwards, looking upwards, watching shooting stars and satellites cross the sky.

I imagined myself last night laying on the ground, blanket beneath me, blanket atop me, snug and warm against the cool night air, coyotes yipping in the distance, a lonesome train whistle blowing far off, the breeze rustling the leaves and branches somewhere off in the darkness. I imagined being able to get up, sit up, get down, and even get back up again. It's been a few years now since I was able to do these things. I remember them. I ache to have them back again.

Still, even from my wheelchair, sitting as others were sitting, it was a nice light show. There weren't the numbers of plummeting meteors as promised by the media, but there were enough to make it interesting. Every once in a while a big one would leave a streak across the sky. Once or twice that streak appeared coloured, not quite a rainbow but with distinct red and blue lines. 

We sat, we watched, oohing and awing in delight with the good ones, remarking on the passage of the smaller ones. We chatted about meaningless things; what we would do if we won the lottery, how rude it was of the other people to drive in slowly with their bright headlights shining on us, the sounds we heard, life in general. It was a pleasant, easy night, late enough to make me tired for real today, interesting and enjoyable enough to make me want to do it again.

Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you get wonderful evenings with friends. Sometimes you get to see a shooting star. Sometimes you get to lay in the grass and watch the sky. Sometimes.

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