Sunday, November 13, 2005

Star Gazing

How long has it been since you've seen the Milky Way? No, not the candy bar! I'm referring to the dense swath of stars that shows us the edge of our own galaxy. City dwellers don't get this view unless they leave the light pollution that renders all but the brightest stars invisible. From where I work and live, the night sky is almost empy. Aircraft far out number stars.

One of my favorite benefits of working in the middle of the night is the opportunity to star gaze. Luckily, our customers often send us out to neighborhoods where the night sky has the opportunity to shine through. On a soft summer night in a dark area, the temptation to lay down on the lawn among the planted critters and soak in the star light is almost overwhelming. Wouldn't that add a little something extra to some birthday celebrant's morning - walk out the door and find a flock of flamingos and smiling snoozing flamingo planter gracing the front yard?

On a beautiful, clear night a few weeks ago, we had a delivery in an area we had not been in before. The directions lead us up into the coastal hills. The desination was a new home situated by itself on a point near the top with a breath taking view of what seemed to be the entire Bay Area. The sky was brilliant with stars, obscured only by one narrow streak of wispy clouds. I wanted to set up camp and just stay there.

It was another perfect night when we returned to pick up the display. The wispy clouds were still in the same place and that's when I realized I was seeing the Milky Way, not clouds. It had been so long since I had been anywhere clear enough and dark enough, that I didn't recognize it.

So amazing, standing there with a carpet of lights below and a brilliant night sky above. Don't tell my customers this but I would deliver to that location for free, just to have the opportunity to bask in the view and the stars.

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Ah, the temptation of night grass and dew.

It's been ages since I've seen the milky way.