I lie on my back gazing up at the stars and moon far above me. Far more stars than I can possibly count shine brightly, and in their midst hangs a sliver of a moon. The sight soothes me and makes me happy to be a simple country woman living far from the city lights. I’ve seen Paris, the city of lights, by night and it’s breathtakingly beautiful with the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees ablaze. Here in Georgia, Atlanta’s skyline is lovely by night, but I’ll choose the natural starry sky right here in South Georgia any time.
As I lie serenely watching the stars, my mind goes frolicking across the world. I wonder how many other people are star-gazing like me. What are they thinking? Thousands of people study the sky nightly as a hobby, but it’s too complicated for me. The night sky is divided into 88 constellations, which can be seen from the USA at different times during the year. On any clear, moonless night, one can see a thousand or more stars. Five of our solar system’s eight planets, a few star clusters, a spiral galaxy and an occasionally bright comet can be seen, too.
I’m no astronomer, nor do I wish to be, but I am and have always been fascinated by the night sky. It makes me think. It did the same thing to Galileo back in the 16th century and led him into real trouble with the Roman Catholic Church when he published his findings. My musings aren’t likely to lead me down the primrose path though. Not at all. My mind just meanders randomly through my current thoughts and memories.
I smile as I remember how angry my 15-year-old Josh became when a neighbor put up a yard light, interfering with his personal darkness.
“Mom, I’ve lived in this darkness for my whole life,” he ranted. “How dare they?”
For the complete column pick up your copy of The Baxley News-Banner on newsstands today or CLICK HERE to Subscribe.