Tonight is the Geminid meteor shower. I got off work at eight, and had to stop by the store on the way home (since tomorrow after work I leave to go visit my brother and his family in Pennsylvania). By the time I got home it was well after nine and getting colder and colder. As I walked from the garage to the house, I looked up to see if the night was clear enough to maybe see a shooting star. I'd never seen one before.
The stars glittered like ice against a black sky. But I had stuff to do before I could stay out and look. I changed clothes, started a load of laundry, finished wrapping a couple of presents to take up north with me, and slurped a mug of hot tea. Then I put my heavy fleece jacket back on and went back outside.
I have a pair of white adirondack chairs out front, and I sat down in one. It was covered with a glaze of frozen dew, I discovered too late. Also I was wearing shorts since my jeans were in the wash and I couldn't find my sweatpants. I huddled in my jacket and stared up at the sky.
And almost immediately, a flash of white light streaked past in the sky. It was gone so fast I almost couldn't believe what I'd seen. It really did look like a star had loosened from its pin and fallen, vanishing almost immediately. I gasped and whispered to myself, "I saw one!"
I'd only intended to stay outside long enough to see one. It was just so cold. But I kept telling myself, "Just one more," and then I would see another and it would be one more, and one more, and one more. They weren't constant, and I had long minutes in between to shiver while I stared upward.
I thought about how the stars are so far away, and I wondered how many of them have planets around them and how many of those planets have creatures living on them. And I wondered if somewhere on one of those worlds, in an impossibly alien countryside, someone was watching the stars and wondering if somewhere out there someone else was watching the stars too....