Thursday, December 14, 2006

Softballs, fireflies and falling stars

Steven, Jareb and I watched the meteor sprinkle (this is San Diego, people, no showers here (FYI "sprinkle" in this context was first dubbed by Chuck last night)) from the roof of a cabin on Mt. Palomar. It was a party of photographers and nature enthusiasts--at least enthusiastic enough to drive more than 4000 feet up from sea level to see darkness and ancient light, though I must note that Steven and I were the only two people fully-dedicated to sky-gazing, while certain others were also interested in wine-drinking, dry-sauna-sitting, sleeping, camera-setting, food-eating and other activities I can only imagine based on the sounds and silences emanating from the vents on the roof. It was probably nothing, and I do not know all of their names.

I brought my camera, but in my journalistic fashion I quickly decided that while the people would make fascinating subjects, the falling sky would not be captured adequately in words leave alone mega-pixels.

It's good to know that as a storyteller I can recognize the best recording device is oftentimes simply God's creation un-"advanced" by man's creations.

Knowing my limitations meant that I didn't miss the two times when at least four of us (Eros, Steven, Jareb & I) caught black-speckled-white-unmoving-sky flare with a white blaze that streamed through space leaving a trail of time lingering as though the crowd of light-particles moved were standing and applauding as they watched a fast ball go by. (It's an image I'll work with--I just need to get notes down now so that I can get to the library in time to read at story hour.)

When it happened, we four lying down shrieked and rose and pointed, and the fifth (a working-at-the-moment photographer) said he "could see it reflected on our faces."

"Literally or figuratively?" I asked, wondering if he could guess its brilliance based on our brilliant joy.

"He means he could see the light reflect on us," Steven said.

I don't know which is true. Probably both.

I will never forget the Milky glow, the shooting stars, the shared wishing-ways or the warmth of coldlovedcreation. I did not miss it for the lens or the wine.

Sometimes the sparks flew from the chimney, tricking us into believing in fireflies or catchable stars. Once, I glimpsed a meteor framed through the treeline horizon and compared it to a softball.

"Maybe it was."

I did capture the essence of some of the people on the way in and out of the cabin and just before the down-the-mountain ride.

Steven: goodness of the pure and real and grounded sort. He held the ladder (mostly) while the girl-scared-of-heights-even-for-other-people came down and then he got the firewood when the man-in-only-a-towel-and-wine asked him for help so that the others could stay warm. Steven even brought in more logs for later, so they would not have to go out into the cold dark.

Man-in-wine-and-towel-who-asks-for-future-warmth. Sweet.

Jareb: "someone alive and singing about it," I think is how he puts it. I would add the adverbs beautifully and inspirationally to the sentence.

Eros: beautiful sad clown, trailblazing-eldest-child-like-me ran away to Cirque du Solae (sic--google, sit) while I went to therapy. ;)

Chuck: owns the cabin and the wiener puppies and I assume the food and wine they served, slept on the roof while we observed.

ok... I'll insert photos later (in an edit, not a repost), but now I have to get ready to tell other stories. (Later I'll add the part about not quite knowing for sure where the driveway was and listening to the navigators instead of getting out to look for myself before straining to see over my car's hood saying, "Are you sure this is right? I feel like I'm pulling a Thelma and Louise here! It's scary!" And then I pushed the gas pedal and stopped.

The drive was beautiful--the parts we talked, the parts we sang (Indigo Girls and Dixie Chicks), and the parts they slept and I drove with me and my thoughts and my borrow-twenty-something-boy-children in the car.

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