I don’t know what it is about the night sky, but I love it! For example, the following links feature two “The World at Night 2011” photos on msnbc.com from a recent photo contest.
I would love to be able to take pictures like that! Friends of ours, Roland and Linda Beard, have a Parables of the Sky blog. Among other things, they observe and sketch the heavens from a biblical viewpoint. I don’t know how God created the beautiful heavens, I just know He did. And it’s awesome!
I remember sitting in our backyard at night with my dad. I was about six years old. He was explaining to me the difference between the red and blue stars. A horse in the neighboring yard behind us would persistently sway against the wooden fence. He wouldn’t stop until Dad gave him an apple. Maybe he wanted to be a part of our little science lesson. Or maybe he just wanted an apple. Either way, he got what he wanted.
Mom and Dad separated when I was seven.
My memories before the separation are generally vague, but there are some that stand out.
- A welcome letter from my Kindergarten teacher before school started. Miss McCann, your loving example inspired me to be a teacher!
- The little corner market selling glass bottles of Dr. Pepper that had a deliciously distinct flavor that you don’t taste in today’s Dr. Pepper. Dad liked Dr. Pepper.
- My beloved aqua and brown plaid dress that eventually became a shirt and had to be repaired by Aunt Bonnie and reinvented by Mom. Yes, I still have it.
- Waking up in the night to my little brother puking all over my back. To this day I don’t like beans.
- The house next to us that burned down one night. Not sure why, but I was afraid of my closet after that.
- My mom trying to cover the sounds of the ringing black rotary wall telephone with a cloth diaper. I guess she could have used an “Ignore” button back then!
- The day I discovered Band-Aids and how many boo-boos I actually had.
- A boy in school telling me I looked like a bear in my new hooded jacket. I never wore it again.
- My cousin, Beth, explaining to me that those were not trees on top of the mountains, but they were Indians. One was sitting down.
- The original Star Trek, the evening news about the Vietnam War (which scared me enough to dislike watching the news for several years), talk about a man named Neil Armstrong and his walk on the moon, a new show called Sesame Street, and the Flintstones. “I want to see Barney!” I would cry when mom told me it was time to take a nap. That was the only character name I could remember as I desperately tried to convince mom to let me skip the nap. But I think Mom really needed me to take a nap that day. It was intense sometimes between Dad and her.
When I was sitting and looking at the night sky with Dad, I was enveloped by the stars and galaxies. Neil Armstrong couldn’t hold a candle to my dad. I didn’t understand everything Dad was saying, but I hung onto his words. I wonder if I had suspected he would be leaving. It didn’t matter, though, because that night was special. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love the world at night and all of the nightly treasures in the sky. It reminds me of Dad.
p.s. Thanks, Mom, for not letting that be one of my final memories with Dad and for allowing me the opportunity to have more discussions with him…some that I still don’t always completely understand 🙂