Good morning, stars. Good morning, Geminids, streaking even this light-polluted dingy sky with sparks and the fire of atmospheric entry.
I didn’t go to sleep, so I didn’t have to wake up. The south Florida air was crisp, too chill for sun lizards like me. I brought my own heat rock: a rainbow leopard print blanket. Armed with naked eyes, I stared up into the vast night.
And I saw them. Falling embers from off our world, burning up on entry. I said hello to Orion (as is customary), and crouched down, face skyward, laughing like a little girl until I started crying, big wracking sobs of relief and joy and wonder.
I stayed out there until my nose ran. I stayed out there well past the time I’d spotted any bright debris lighting the night in its fall. I stayed out there feeling small and safe and insignificant. Insignificance is a great form of safety.
When I was ready to creep back in, I wiped my nose on my jeans and choked out another laugh. It sounded more like a bark. What do you do after that? After watching the heavens rain down upon your blue bubble so fragile, so temporary?
You hug yourself, huddled in your rainbow blanket, and compose love letters to the sun and the far arms of the Milky Way.