It's the time of year for the Perseid meteor showers.
In Mayetta, we would spend several hours on at least one night each year, lying on our backs on the front lawn, watching the sky for the sudden flash of a streaking meteor. In Mobile, however, we lost the habit. There was too much light pollution there, and the sky was hardly visible due to tall trees and surrounding houses.
I missed my annual sky-watching event.
Last night I got it back. I took a blanket out and spread it on our front lawn, then lay down facing the northeast sky. Pretty soon Lefty, our oldest English setter, staggered out to join me. Then Prairiewolf and Becker, our German shepherd, came out from inside. We all lay on the blanket together, panting softly.
It was a perfect night for star gazing. The air was softly warm with a light breeze. The sky was clear, and the stars were scattered across it like sand on a dark glazed floor.
I didn't get to see too many meteors - only 4 - but I had a wonderfully relaxing time trying. I can't think of a better activity for keeping myself centered in the "now" and for sinking back and enjoying being alive.
Sometimes it's important to smell the roses; last night it was important to watch the stars.