My friend Maundy put out this message on her Facebook page yesterday:
Leonid Meteor Showers start around 1:00 a.m. Go ahead–years from now, you probably won’t remember that day you were a little tired, but chances are, you’ll remember the meteors.
While I was aware of the event, and considered getting up, I had not yet decided to rise from my bed in the middle of the cold night. Her cheerful message inspired me to make that commitment to myself.
I programmed my mind to wake me in the middle of the night. I stirred at 1AM and decided it was still too early. I woke again at 2 and from the warm bed, looked out my window at the bright sky. However, if I wanted to see any shooting stars, I’d need to extract myself from the current state of toastiness and comfort.
I began the negotiations in my mind, after all, I have seen hundreds of shooting stars in my life…
But just as quickly, the power of my decision took over. I rose from bed. I grabbed a flashlight. I put on my snowsuit, gloves, and hat. I grabbed a lawn chair from the garage, dragged my sleepy body out to the field began setting up camp.
I was immediately rewarded with a bright streak across the sky as I fumbled with the chair.
This is going to be awesome, I though to myself, gazing up at brilliant, clear sky, saying hello to my old friends… Orion, Mars, the Big Dipper, Pleiades…
As I lay down, the cold found the chinks in my armor. I listened to the quiet of night, picking out the sound of running water and coyotes in the distance. My eyes began to water from the cold and my excessive staring toward the heavens.
After thirty minutes I was ready to go back to my bed. I’d seen about a dozen meteors, but none matched the intensity of the early morning’s first offering. While I was not disappointed, deep down I had expected a little more.
As I headed toward my house, I stopped and looked skyward. I spun around a few times, knowing that there had to be one more out there waiting for me.
A moment later the sky exploded to the southeast. The meteor was brighter than any I had ever seen before. I watched it streak across thousands of miles of sky. An audible “Wholy sh..t!” left my lips… (Wholy is a combination of Whoa and Holy).
Stunned at the magnificent of what I’d seen, for the next minute I focused on the crisp vapor trail the meteor etched in the sky.
I returned to bed, my body cold from the outside. I had trouble falling back asleep. And yes, I feel a bit more fatigued in my body today.
But Maundy was right.
I will look upon that area of sky and relive my experience with the gods for years to come.