Growing up, I was the little girl who always looked upward. I would stare at the night sky for hours and imagine myself sitting on a star looking back down at Earth. On crisp fall and winter nights I would seat myself on my “tree bench” so that I could get a better look at the moon. By the way, in case you are wondering, I had a “tree bench” because my dad didn’t have the time or the money to build a tree house, so he nailed two 2 X 4 wood boards crosswise on a branch for me to sit on as I gazed at the sky. Anyway, to say that I was obsessed with all things celestial would be putting it lightly.
As I recollect memories about my interest in the sky, I can’t help remembering the time that my mother’s friend pointed her finger and said “Gwin, do you see the Big Dipper?” I recall looking up and immediately feeling transfixed! I mean, I was totally gripped! You see, at that point in time, I had no idea that the stars could configure various forms and shapes. This was a huge revelation for me! At any rate, that night, mom’s friend continued to “school me” by pointing to the “Little Dipper,” Orion and the North Star. In addition, she told me that our black ancestors had used the North Star as a guide to freedom from slavery. Believe me, from that night on, I was an official sky gazer.
As a sky gazer, my first order of business was to find other people to join me in my endeavor. I knew not to ask my mom. God love her but she couldn’t have cared less about what was going on in the sky. And although my dad liked that kind of thing, he was too busy working. So, my only other option was to ask my baby brother. Frankly, finding him was the hardest part; this kid never liked to stay home. He was always gone somewhere else! That aside, I was eventually able to pin him down. I did this by convincing him that we could watch “satellites” travel across the sky. Now a Rocket Scientist might say that it was impossible for us to watch or track satellites with the naked eye. My response to that is “whatever!” All I know is that we observed heavenly bodies travel across the sky in a predictable pattern and concluded that they were satellites. That said; Mr. Rocket Scientist, please do not waste your time trying to convince me otherwise, I simply cannot be bothered with technical details, inaccuracies and probabilities. Furthermore, if these objects were not really satellites then they must have been extraterrestrials–which certainly makes this story all the more interesting-don’t you think? End of rant 🙂
I am proud to report that my love affair with the sky continues. In fact, it’s not unusual to find me taking long nighttime treks. Quite frankly, I find these walks to be very meditative. I have worked out countless problems while looking at the sky. In addition, I find that my children and I have much more open conversations whenever we walk on a starry night.
Clearly, I’ve been admiring the sky for a long time and I am sure that I will continue to admire it until my spirit decides to join with it 🙂