The second time I got up today (around 7:30), the sky was a flat sheet of gray, to match the darker gray of the naked trees.
The first time, at 4:30, was very different. Our cat, Sid, short on food, can be blamed/credited for waking me up. After replenishing his bowl, I remembered that tonight was the peak of the Leonid meteor shower
, and between 4 and 5am was supposed to be the best time to see it here.
I went outside to see. It was still warm, probably in the 50s, so I was fine in my bathrobe. There were a few clouds, but they seemed to frame and highlight the open sky. And the shooting stars were there. Even this close to the city, there were plenty bright enough to see, so I went to wake Jenny.
When we got back outside, the sky was completely clear. We lay head-to-head on our backs in a corner of our deck. With so many meteors coming all over the sky, you can’t focus on any one spot. Instead, you have to let go and let your peripheral vision take it all in.
For me, at least, the letting go (and maybe the early hour) made my consciousness shrink away and I was no longer an observer, but a part of the scene.
And now I have the memory in every part of me. The warmth of our heads touching, whispered conversation, warm air, a slight breeze, our cats nearby; bright stars through bare branches, the deep, deep blue-black of the sky, fading toward dawn; and through it all shooting stars by the dozens, some flashing like lightning, some skipping twice, some short and pulsing, some long, lingering in the sky or in my eye or in my mind. I made a lot of wishes tonight.