Faith & Meteor Showers

It was Saturday night, the end of another busy week, and the tail end of that nasty cold virus.  We ventured outside after supper with a few friends to turn our gaze to the heavens in hopes of viewing the Geminids meteor shower. It was a leap of faith.  We had extended the invitations to supper and meteor shower viewing with the faith that there would be something to see and that the skies would be clear enough.  I was quite confident we could pull off the supper part of it but the rest was totally out of our control.

Winter Sunset by the Swake  
After supper we bundled up, donning our goober boots, toques, mitts, and other assorted layers.  I was very nearly tempted to watch the meteor shower on the NASA live feed in the warmth and comfort of the house.  Putting that temptation to rest, I waddled outside encased in multiple layers of clothing with the rest of the party.  The research I had done beforehand, suggested we should lay on the ground with our feet facing south so we could watch the night sky.  Someone in a warm climate wrote that nonsense.  We settled into our lawn chairs, wrapped in blankets, facing south and waited.

The pre-reading said it would take half an hour for our eyes to adjust and then we would be rewarded with meteor shower viewing.  It was dark enough on the swake that we began seeing falling meteors right away.  We were not disappointed.  Our faith in what we had read in the Farmers Almanac and online, paid off.  If you took your eyes off the sky you were likely to miss another falling meteor.  It was beautiful and awe-inspiring, a glimpse into the fragility and complexity of our galaxy.

We watched that beautiful show for a couple of hours, exchanging shreds of information we each held about the stars above our heads.    Collectively we had a bit of knowledge about the constellations above us, but that vast expanse of starry sky was a visible reminder that there is so much more to know.  We put out the campfire, the guests went home, and we went to bed aware that the best meteor shower viewing was yet to come.

Prime viewing was an hour before dawn on Sunday morning, which worked perfectly for our schedules.  Between being early risers and living in a place where dawn is about 8 a.m. at this time of year, we were quite certain we would be able to catch another glimpse of the show.  And we did, from our armchairs in the living room through the south windows we watched another spectacular show just before dawn.  With all the house lights turned off we were able to relax with our feet up and pointing south, sipping coffee, and watching meteors streak above the swake.

As I watched, I wished that I could start every Sunday with a meteor shower because it was such a potent reminder of the vastness of the universe and the hand of the Creator.  One only has to look up at the night sky in all its glory to get a faith injection.  "Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the one who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing."  Isaiah 40:26 NIV

p.s. If you missed the show you can Google the Geminids meteor shower to read more and see some spectacular photos that were taken around the globe. Universe Today and NASA Science