One thing that continues to amaze me on the rare days when I can drag my carcass from the keyboard is the sky above Nogglestead.
It’s been four years since we moved from Old Trees and since I left my urban and semi-rural* upbringing to live in the Ozarks. With wide horizons, high skies, and tall clouds.
And an occasional sunset:
Something you don’t realize living in the city is how far the sun moves on the Western horizon during the course of the year. At Winter Solstice, the sunset is behind the wind break to the left. At Summer Solstice, it’s to the right of the house back there.
Another thing that’s apparent where the horizon isn’t a row of houses thirty yards away: The sun does not rise and set directly up and down: it lowers at an angle to the right. What! I’m not on the equator after all?
And something we get out here several times a year: Rainbows.
We had two last week, in fact. One was a full arch. This one just a partial. But how many of those do you see in a year?
One more thing I might have finally spotted in my lifetime: shooting stars. You hear about them. But unless they’re meteors big enough to almost start World War III***, you’re not going to see shooting stars in the well-lit city sky. Notice I don’t say “light polluted” city sky. Light means relative safety, urban dwellers. I have a bit of light out here so I can keep the predators away from my doors. But it’s not so much that, if I lie on my back, I can’t see more stars than I did in St. Louis. And a couple of times I’ve seen streaks of light that were not planes as they started and stopped in relatively short order. So they might have been shooting stars, but I am a skeptic who is not one hundred percent sure of things I can’t create (in the old days, they called this sort of thing science, but now whatever one imagines or builds on a playset counts as science), so I’m only willing to say I might have seen shooting stars. How many of you have seen a real shooting star? Probably campers and Boy Scouts amongst you, but that was not my pay.
Four years in, and the location still fills me with wonder on occasion. I should really seek out these moments more frequently. Or will that make them lose their wonder, I wonder?
* But, wait, Brian! I thought you said you’ve lived in a trailer park and down an old dirt road. This is true, gentle reader, but both of these locations were in distinct valleys, where the sky was impeded by hills covered with trees.
** “World War”. What a 20th Century concept. Do you, gentle reader, seeing a large number of countries going against a large number of countries ever again? I doubt that there’s currently enough vigor in the West to support it. And a nuclear exchange from here on out is likely to be just a couple of countries with the rest of the world going, “Tut, tut,” ainna? This is just my spurious musing this morning, subject to change this afternoon after careful assessment of new data gleaned from fastidious Internet sources.