Do you have a special relationship with the night sky? Tell me about it here.
The night sky and I go way back. Almost nineteen years, in fact. I'm told that it was around even before then, but given how important it is to me (and thus how important I must be to it), this strikes me as being very unlikely. After all, if I weren't around, what reason would the night sky have to exist?
I'd like to say the night sky and I didn't get along at first, because it makes for interesting story-telling, but that's just not true. Even as a small child, when the dark was something to be feared and not revelled in, the sky offered some solace with its twinkling stars and bright moon, or the glow of the long-gone sun still lazing about on the horizon.
Of course, clouds do like to get in the way.
But even clouds, when they aren't so selfish as to take up the whole night sky, aren't true evils. During the day they shade you from the sun, and occasionally drop glittering snow or glistening rain down on you. And at night they may help the moon play a game of peekaboo with you, which as times is exactly what you want, though at others you'd rather stare uninterrupted.
Have you ever seen the moon through a cloud? During those magical moments where the sky is full of clouds and yet not fully covered, it's possible to imagine, if you try hard enough, that the clouds are the sky and the sky is the clouds. It's exhilarating, somehow, to be able to see things in such a new and interesting light.
Have you ever seen the Milky Way? City dwellers, you do not know what you're missing out on! It really does look like milk, up there. The distinct individual stars are the cereal, and the dome that is the entirety of the sky is a vast and infinite bowl. The big dipper isn't big enough, it seems.
Have you ever took in the whole sky at once? Find a field, a wide open space where every horizon is on the ground, not a building, and just stare. Hopefully you're in a rural area, because for the real effect you need to be able to see a great deal of stars. It's breath-taking. It makes me smile every time.
Have you ever gotten lost in the sky? It's a great thing to look at while you think. It's intangible, twinkling, and infinite, and thinking about it is bound to make you dizzy, but pair it with cool, crisp air and you'll do some of your best thinking.
Stare at the sky. Start from one horizon, slowly look up. Take everything in. You might be there awhile. Keep looking further up until you're craning your neck. This is the fun part: keep tilting your head until you fall backwards. Try to land on something soft, as getting hurt would ruin the feeling. Tall grass works well. Now, lying on the ground, imagine you being up and the sky down. Hold on tight to the grass, or you might fall into the stars! Would that really be so bad?
Head home, get warm, think of the stars and smile as you fall asleep.
This is me and the night sky.