Rockin’ in the free world

November 20, 2006

When rocks blast through the atmosphere, we see a blaze of light and a streak of white.

This was certainly the case the other night when the Leonid Meteor Shower was visible from the Northeastern United States.

Or perhaps I should say the meteors WOULD have been visible had they not been blocked by cloud cover? This was the first time in a few years that I was really excited to wake up at 12AM and bolt outside into the cold. And I was so excited that I hopped in the car and drove frantically westward to see if I could reach the edge of the clouds for a clear glimpse of these atmospheric carvers as they burned up or skipped along the top of the world.

The other time that I got up at Oh-Dark-Hundred to see the meteors was in the fall of 2002 or 2003. Fletcher was just a puppy and somehow I convinced Ben to come with me to the High School field at 3 or 4AM.

That night we saw bunches of shooting stars, but not this weekend. As you have already guessed – mostly because I just said that I WOULD have seen them – I didn’t get to see any shooting stars on Saturday.

The closest I got to seeing a shiny rock was the photo of sarcophakatieebullient’s new engagement ring. She and Ben announced their commitment to one another under a clear evening sky in eastern Massachusetts a week or so ago. They were blessed by the presence of stars, those in the sky and those in their eyes.

But before this gets so sickeningly sweet that you want to smash your Apple iPod-brand MP3 listening device to the ground and stomp my melodious voice, I want to bring you back to earth. I did get to see ONE meteor or piece of space debris on Sunday night/Monday morning.

Even though my timing was off, I did see one bright streak of light go under the little dipper at about 12:42AM Monday. You see, had I read the news reports and astronomy guides correctly I would have known that the entire meteor shower was only taking place Saturday evening into Sunday morning. I just got lucky.

And although I’m loathe to put her real name out on my sites and in my podcasts without some camouflage, I want to say that Ben got lucky too when the star in his world – Katie – said yes to his proposal.

Keep thinking and I’ll talk to you again during the next Bowl of Cheese.