this morning

11/09/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

This morning at 3am the stars were bright in the sky above San Diego. The cheshire-cat moon was nowhere to be seen. Yet, at 5:30, the moon was sharing its moon-lit, wonderland smile right up there in the slightly eastern sky – one or another of the planets for company, so bright, very close. Orion’s Belt had traveled west, surely now glowing down on the Pacific.

Once, when I was a kid, I had a sleep-out at a farm belonging to the family of Royal Davis. In the next town over, Rochester, Massachusetts. We slept out close by a pond, on the edge of a really big, really wide field. It was Royal and me, a kid named David Rogers, and I think one other kid, who I don’t remember though a number of good guesses come to mind. We literally slept out under the stars, and the images my mind offers this morning are of endless stars on a dark, dark sky, virtually no ground light out there in the country, one constellation leaning into another, the shining milky way, more stars, way more, than they had up at the planetarium at the Museuem of Science in Boston, which we’d seen thanks to a school field trip day. Since that sleep-out in sleeping bags was maybe and probably August, we must have seen shooting stars, late summer meteors and specks of space dust which of course actually were shooting stars.

This memory came this morning, from 60 or so years back. No moon in San Diego, then the moon. Orion and a completely upside down big dipper. The night sky is one of those things – amazingly cool invitations along the way – it would have been nice to have accepted and taken up and studied and become best friends with over these years. And it was still wicked cool this morning.