I don’t know how to properly describe stargazing at Enchanted Rock (and this is Noah’s cue to
begin judgment; go ahead, Noah. Judge. JUDGE). But it was
something I wouldn’t have traded for– nearly the world. Certainly not
any of the other things I could have been doing this past weekend.
How to describe it? The air was mild and calm, neither humid nor dry.
There was a symphony of crickets and grasshoppers rising from below and
silence everywhere else. Because the moon hadn’t yet risen, the
world below us was just a black expanse, and combined with our altitude, the darkness made it feel like we were on a little rock of our own in the middle of the cosmos. Only the sky was vaguely
illuminated by the presence of all the stars.
And the stars. Oh, the stars. So far away from anything even close to a
city, so far from all the pollution, the stars came out in majestic
droves and dazzled. The Milky Way stretched out before us, a white mist
of a river winding through the constellations. And lying there on these
ancient and weathered thrusts of granite giants, lying there under this
vast window to the universe through which countless upon countless
distant stars and suns were winking at us– I felt so small
and insignificant and inconsequential and humbled.
In the history of
the universe, I– we all– will be recorded as merely a microscopic
speck, if even that. In the history of time, our lives will comprise
perhaps a fraction of a nanosecond; so what of the moments that compose
our lives? Everything suddenly felt all the more precious. Somehow, by meaning nothing on the scale of the universe, it all begins to mean everything on the scale of the human race.