August again and another meteor shower is coming up. Tomorrow night is said to be the prime night for viewing the shower where I live in the Pacific Northwest. I hope the city lights are not too bright.
I remember my sister and I and our friends would take our sleeping bags out on the lawn on the meteor night (any night in August would do, when we were kids) and stay awake ooh-ing and ah-ing until one by one we would fall asleep. We called them shooting stars back then and they were wonderful to see.
As I grew older and gained a little knowledge (always dangerous), I learned that stars are suns, and I wondered why suns would shoot through the sky. Now I know that my shooting stars are comet dust entering Earth’s atmosphere. Not nearly as magnificent as stars being catapulted through the sky.
I suppose that the meteor shower is what John Denver was referencing when he sang of “fire in the sky”. I will be out in my lawn chair tomorrow night from 11pm on until I fall asleep, watching the sky light up with the fire from stars hurtling across the universe. I won’t even think of comet dust.