To Stand in Awe

Awesome.

How many times a day do I use this word?

Way too many.

“Hey Chris, I got this project done.”

Awesome!

“It’s 6 PM! We get to leave!”

AWESOME!

“How was the catfish last night?”

It was awesome!

It’s become something of a flippant response to anything positive or remotely great.

I didn’t realize how much that word has been cheapened in my own life, and on the world’s stage as a whole, until this morning at 3:30 AM.

Yep.

I, the queen of sleep, the woman who is in a serious, long term, committed relationship with her bed, was awake, DRESSED, and out the door at 3 AM this morning.

Why?

The Perseids.

This is the meteor shower I used to think was my PERSONAL birthday gift from heaven.

Yes, elementary school me firmly believed that God Himself sent the shooting stars for my birthday each year, because that’s what my dad told me – and I believed EVERYTHING my dad told me.

Every year when I was small, before my brother was born, if it wasn’t raining, we’d go out into the country, pull off the road, and lay on the hood of our car, drinking sodas and counting the shooting stars.

Some years, there were so many, we’d lose count.

I’ve been incredibly lucky in my life.

I’ve seen the Perseids from the mountains of Colorado, from the beach in Maine, from the porch of a cabin in the north woods of Newfoundland, with the Northern Lights dancing in the sky at the same time…

And this year, from the middle of the parking lot at the Cumberland Drive In.

The drive in is in the middle of nowhere, so the light pollution is nearly nil.

That’s where I ended up at 3 AM.

Not on the hood of my car, because it was entirely too hot, but sitting in a camp chair, in the pitch dark, with my head thrown back, gazing at the sky.

And I was awe-struck.

Simply awe-struck.

I remembered something my father used to say to me, and he whispered, from the corner of my memories, through the night

“Look up. Count the stars”

Count the stars, Christin. Count the stars.

Tiny, sparkling pricks of light – so many that they became glistening dust on a velvet black sheet

More than one person could ever count or categorize.

The meteors began to streak across the sky, fiery trails of light flashing and burning out, and I found myself counting, just like I did when I was a little girl.

And crying, just like I have every year.

Tears of awe.

Wonder.

I can’t help but sit in amazement , tears streaming down my face, watching something so truly

AWESOME.

In those moments of celestial beauty, surrounded by the blanket of night, punctuated by flaming space rocks hurtling through the atmosphere, I am reminded just how very small I am. How very vast the universe is.

The Perseids are my yearly reminder of what’s actually awesome.

Something so vast

So beautiful

So awe-inspiring

That you gaze at the sky

And weep.

meteors

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