On the way back from town tonight a falling star caught my eye. It blazed briefly and was gone before I could point it out to the Wife. Out here shooting stars are common, at least they seem so to me. It’s probably because I spend a good deal of my time outside at night gazing at the stars, trying to imagine the power of each and the vast distance that separates them from one another.
In a way they are like people, I suppose. Each is powerful in their own limited patch of the universe, and the distance between each is vast. We try to bridge the distance with emotions like love. Some turn to religion or philosophy and succeed to a certain degree. But deep down we are all alone in a vast cold universe, mere points of light in the nothingness.
That does nothing to cool my fascination with them. I’ll stand for as long as I can tolerate the cold gazing at them, wondering about them, trying to imagine what it must be like to see them up close. All it takes is a hundred photons or so to traverse hundreds of light years of dusty space to pass through the atmosphere and fall into my eyes to elicit a childlike wonder in an inconsequential inhabitant of a rocky planet orbiting a mediocre star. It makes feel almost blessed to experience the light of such distant stars, if only for a few moments.