Monday, September 14, 2009

A Little Night Cruisin’

Last evening my family and I sailed the night skies…..or the next thing to it; we traversed the back roads of Howard County in a convertible.

We love living in suburban Kokomo. Our neighborhood is quiet, tree-lined and inviting, yet just down the street we have almost immediate access to some of modern society’s most agreeable and useful destinations; Outback Steakhouse, Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Marsh Supermarket, Dunkin Donuts, Applebee’s, and, most notably, Starbucks. It is, in the immortal words of Hannah Montana, “The Best of Both Worlds”. Ahem.

However, Terrace Meadows has one drawback – a big one. When it comes to stargazing (an activity we Burtch’s hold dear) our view of God’s handiwork is well, limited at best and abysmal at worst. We can see approximately ten stars from our backyard.

We decided on this impromptu trip to the periphery of our North Central Indiana county last night because:

1. We happened to have Nana’s PT Cruiser in the driveway.
2. The night was exceedingly clear.

That rare and advantageous combination propelled us (one of us already in her jammies) out the door at about 10:00 p.m. laden with jackets, quilts, and an air of unrivaled expectation.

As we drew further away from the city lights, the sky morphed into something three-dimensional instead of the pathetic, flat affair that lies above our house. At one point Julia commented, “It’s like being in space”, and she was right; it was rather like riding in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon. I almost felt like we were going to be attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer or leap into hyperspace at any minute. I could have ridden until sunrise.

All good things must come to an end, however, and our time soaring under that sparkling canopy did too. But when we returned home it was with a renewed sense of awe at the vast, mysterious and spectacularly beautiful universe in which we live.

…..and speaking of stars, I give you an excerpt from my favorite childhood poem:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!
"Said Wynken,
And Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.

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