It was a good night for meteors, not great, but good enough. I saw ten in about thirty minutes’ time, and this was in the early hours between four and four-thirty. If I had gotten up earlier, conditions would have been better. By four-thirty there was a faint light in the sky and enough haze that I called it quits.
You can’t really “look” for meteors. You can only point yourself in a general direction and wait. Watching meteors is a process of emptying, of eliminating preconceptions, and opening up to whatever comes. In those respects, it’s a very satisfying activity.
I wasn’t sure if I was pointed in the right direction, but my yard has big trees in several directions and a neighbor’s security light in another, so I faced the only good sky I had available. A couple of minutes went by, with oh-shoot-I-missed-it running through my mind. Then one meteor, a little one, and my eyes adjusted. I fetched a lawn chair. Two more, the first one a real biggie. Then two more! I settled in for a good show.
Four or five minutes passed. As I waited, I became more aware. Crickets. The distant hum of traffic on I-70. A faraway dove? Maybe. A meteor! No, a jet plane, red light blinking. Another plane . . . no, this time a satellite, steady and white, moving swiftly across the dome of the sky.
Then three more meteors in quick succession, and by “quick” here I mean one a minute. We don’t think of that as quick in our daily life, but once you’ve adjusted your pace of thinking, a minute seems pretty rapid. I was reminded that meteors don’t all go in the same direction, and sometimes you only see them out of the corner of your eye.
It’s a refreshing experience to be quiet, to simply wait, to be happy with whatever comes. Sometimes the attitude of open non-expectation is the most creative of all.