One shooting star a minute I heard of the Geminid Meteor Shower. But half a waxing moon would brighten the sky till it set around 3 am, and it might be cloudy.
At 9 pm the sky was clear, the moon high above the big old birch tree. I was tired and thought I might sleep through the night, but I didn’t.
I woke up around 3:30 and had to pee. I put on my nightshirt and wool socks, I knew I was going out. I bundled up in my winter coat, hat and boots, then let Fate out of her crate.
Without the moon, the stars crowed the black sky.
I stood in the backyard looking up. Within seconds I saw the streak of light out of the corner of my eye. I looked up turning slowly, not wanting to miss the “next” one. I wasn’t disappointed.
As my eyes adjusted I walked into the barnyard towards the back pasture where up on the hill I’d have the best view of the sky. Fate followed me, but the donkeys and sheep stayed behind.
I hardly noticed, my focus was up.
The stars fell around me as I stood on the hill. Some blurs of light in my peripheral vision, others long slow lines directly in front of me.
All that activity should have made a noise, but I only heard the trickle of the creek on the other side of the fence. I thought of the silence of falling snow, the quiet of hundreds of thousands of bats as they fly out of Carlsbad Cavern every night.
I didn’t count shooting stars, I don’t know how many minutes I was out there watching them. It was long enough to remind me that while I sleep, the universe is still happening.