Celestial Bodies

Sunset

I have always been fascinated by the sky and the things that appear in it. I love watching sunsets and moon rises, waiting until the last light fades from the golden sky, or seeing the first glimpse of the ethereal white orb as it passes over the horizon.

The moon has a special place in my heart. I follow her phases and look for her each night the sky is clear. The brightest light from the full moon casts deep shadows in the dark around my unlit house. On these nights we rest with the curtains pulled back, the moon’s reflected glory shining in through the windows; she helps me to sleep and wraps my dreams with tranquility. This was how I slept last night.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On dark nights, when she is new, I wait until the sliver of the crescent may be visible and I take time to search the western sky, just before sunset, to catch sight of the pale shape. It has become something of a ritual, a ceremony to honour the passing of another month, and I love the continuity that sits within the unending wax and wane.

The passing of time is also marked out in the turning of the seasons within the nightly star-show. Just now Pegasus is about, its large, square form dominating the view for me, and I await “Mr Orion” into the northern sky soon, marching across the heavens through the winter, I know spring is coming when Leo is high in the sky in February, the familiar sickle of the proud lion’s head rising earlier as the days get longer. The unchanging pole star and the circling Ursa Major, the famous Plough, with the attendant “W” of Cassiopia are welcome and reassuring sights for me on a dark night. Their constant but consistent movement reminds me of our place in space, our “3rd rock from the sun” status and the ramifications of that state. We are but small dots, blips in the cosmic history. This sense of perspective, as well as the beauty, fill me with an awesome wonder that I never fail to feel whenever I observe the sky and its celestial bodies, which are for me heavenly indeed.