Tuesday, October 25, 2016


This past weekend, I took a break from my everyday life, and went up to visit a friend who lives near a lake about an hour out of town. Gayla and I left after work on Friday, and drove on up to spend a day relaxing out of reach of our usual weekend chores.

The weather was picture perfect. We slept in, went for a walk, relaxed some on the porch. After dinner, I stepped outside for a moment to catch a breath of air. As I stepped outside, I was captured by the beauty of the stars. It had been too long since I'd seen them. There's too much light pollution at home and in Seattle to see more than a scattering in the sky, and I haven't been out at night to see them since last year.

I stepped off the porch, gazing in wonder and awe at the night sky. It's fairly dark around Bob's house, but there was light from the windows spoiling my view, so I started wandering off into the night, in search of a good dark spot, eyes still glued to the heavens.

Suddenly, there was air and not ground beneath my feet.
I had time to think several thoughts:
"Oh, sh*t. He's got a cutout for his walkout basement on this side of the house."
"How high is the wall?  About 4-5 feet."
"This could be ugly."

I brought my feet together, and crouched just a bit, anticipating the landing. I hit the ground very shortly afterwards and was able to take the force of the landing in my crouch; falling forward just a bit, fingertips brushing the ground as I caught my balance.

I stood up carefully, checking for damage. Knees? working. Ankles? check. Hips?  A-OK! Really? I'd just walked off a five foot wall in the dark and managed to land without injury? Praise karate training, and the powers that be!

Limping just a little from a strain in my left leg, I resumed my search for the perfect spot. Up the yard, here...  behind those trees? Yes! I laid down in the grass, which still held a bit of warmth from the sun, and gave myself over to the wonder of the night. Bob and Gayla shortly joined me (minus the walk off the wall) and we lay there in awe just looking at the brightly shining stars.

I found the Milky Way, the North Star, the Big and Little Dippers, Orion's Belt (known better to my childhood self as the three sisters - I always thought those stars were there for Julia, Colleen and me - all in a row, all together). I found a star overhead, and sent it love and peace and tried (and failed) once again to fathom just how long its light had been traveling for me to see it that night.

I saw the second shooting star of my life.

I laid there until the growing chill in the air started to chase the enjoyment from the moment. We retreated to the candlelit porch for another thirty minutes or so, then called it a day.

That ache in my left leg started speaking strongly to me in the middle of the night. I tossed for a bit, then decided to get up and do the series of stretches I do on a regular basis to keep my joints moving. It hurt as I gingerly put my leg through the motions, but it helped, and I went back to sleep about an hour later. I woke in the morning, all joints still in working order, the strain in my leg much better.

Sometimes, I don't get what I deserve. (I'm not quite sure what I think I do deserve to get for walking off a wall in the pitch dark because I'm looking at the stars instead of my feet, but it's not to walk away without serious injury...)

I'm going to try to remember that next time I'm feeling like the fates are conspiring against me.

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