The Leonids

Bryan and I decided that, since the Orionids meteor shower last month had been such a disappointment, we'd try to watch the Leonids this month. Mandy's schedule precluded a camping trip, but he and I got up at three in the morning to drive out to the overlook on Highway 5.

We overshot and ended up in Crows instead. When we turned around to look for the overlook again, we found that it had been removed. (Do they ever do that? Apparently.) The other close-by spots had too much light. We ended up lying on the concrete in front of Salem Fire Station Number 4. We'd forgotten pillows. There was way more traffic on the road than we'd expected, and I kept thinking someone would pull into the fire station and hit me, lying there on the driveway in my sleeping bag.

But the meteors were beautiful, as they always are, big streaks of fire across the sky that light up the air they pass through and make it glow. I love meteor showers. Sometimes we forget, I think, that we're just tiny people in a big, big universe. When we watch for meteors, we come to understand again that we're just crashing through space along with all the other rocks. It's humbling and amazing at the same time.

Also: cold. I don't think I woke up fully until sometime during my second cup of coffee, halfway through breakfast at Waffle House.


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