Summer Nights


We got home last night from a friend’s son’s birthday party, and it was that strange time of the evening where if I looked west there was a deep shade of rust orange along the horizon, and if I looked east it was pitch black with a few stars already showing up. In the western sky was an object so bright I knew it had to be a planet, although John and I disagreed on which one. I wondered if any of my space-related iPhone apps came with a star map. They didn’t. So I bought the StarMap 3D app (only $1.99). I had so much fun for 15 or 20 minutes finding and identifying stars and constellations and planets. John was right, by the way; the really bright one was Venus. (I also found Saturn and Mars.)

While I was stargazing the boys were riding their scooters, squeezing out what little bit of daylight was left and then riding in the dark. Several neighbors were taking walks. I could hear other kids down the street talking and laughing, much like my own were. John was mixing and spraying weedkiller and a lawn mower was running in the distance. It was a summer night in the country, a rare thing for me to appreciate in today’s busy world. It was bedtime and I should’ve been rushing the kids in to the house for baths and bed. But it was nice to not, nice to appreciate the stars and the quiet and the little sounds of a summer night.

Similarly this morning, I left early for work, just after sunrise and before most people in my neighborhood were stirring. My own family was inside asleep. In the exact same place where I had seen Saturn the night before was the bright peach hues of the rising sun. Birds were chirping. It was quiet except for that and just beautifully peaceful. The sounds of a summer morning.

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