We pride ourselves on being the smartest mammal on the planet. I mean, why not? It is not like any other creature has spoken up to dispute that. We've finished the international space station, after years of delays due to the retirement of the first space shuttle program. We look deep into the stars and marvel at the black holes and super novas we see in the distance now. And wonder how much further we will go.
Children have an imagination greater then any vast star in the sky. They can imagine anything in their minds and wander deep into thought. As we grow up we begin to forget about all the things that made us wonder and all the awe that came with dreaming. Yet for some of us, that dreaming never truly ended. As the generations have progressed and we approach the 23 century, a new level of imagination has begun.
I look into space, at the stars and the shapes they form. It brings me to another place, a beautiful and serene place that makes you feel happy and sad at the same time. Space to us has the feeling of emptiness. The thought of space and its infinite size leaves us feeling an even bigger sadness and loneliness as we think to ourselves we are nothing in the grand scheme.
No one ever said that the world was fair or that life was either. It was assumed by many that life should be this way and that we should all strive to achieve this goal. The fact is nobody could have foreseen what was going to happen. No body could have seen what was to come except for those that looked close enough, ignoring the centuries of upbringing that somehow brought us to this point, ignoring the warnings given by those older and wiser then us. But since when have we listened?
The fall was always the most beautiful time of the year for me. The sky was a painting of orange and yellow at sunset. The trees would augment the sunset with bright colors of fiery red and bright orange. The sunset would be followed by the dark and black gaze of space at night. I always enjoyed watching the stars, wondering what each one looked like up close. Sitting outside and looking up during the cool nights was comforting. The cool breeze blowing across my face would give him goose bumps. The smell of burning wood would blow through the air from the fireplaces near by and rustle the leaves on the ground from the changing trees.
I was only 10 at the time in 1984, but I wasn't like other kids. I didn't play video games all day or sit in front of the computer. I sat outside and enjoyed nature or as much as I could in the suburbs. September was leading into the hottest fall on record and of course everyone was talking about global warming. I mean it wasn't that bad, 75 degrees was nice during the day, and I enjoyed it. That didn't stop my parents from arguing about it that night.
"If we cant stop our dependency on oil, global warming will only get worse" said Susan. She looked at Bob with that distain in her eyes she got when she knew he wasn't listening to her. "This is a natural change the planet is going through and nothing we do will change that" he said. Just as she was about to give him the sarcasm reply, the reporter came back on and both were quiet.
I snuck outside and took my telescope with me so I could watch the sky. There was supposed to be a meter shower tonight, the biggest one in 50 years. They weren't wrong. The sky lit up like the 4th of July with thousands of small bright lights streaking across the sky. What a sight I thought. I sat there staring for what seemed like hours at the stars and watching them move quickly. I couldn't help but wonder if there was life out there someplace. I mean there was life here right? Why not on some other planet, there were so many out there.
"Will clean up your stuff and get ready for bed" Susan called with a frustrated voice. Apparently I was in such deep thought over the lights in the sky I ignored her twice already. "Coming Mom" I said. I went over to my telescope and started putting away the lenses. My father had always told me to be meticulous with that. Putting them all away properly meant I would not damage the lenses. Just as I was about to go in a very bright meteor seemed to make it past our atmosphere and stop just over the horizon. I blinked for a second and it was gone. What was it I wonder? I tried to contain my excitement to my parents but they were more interested in me going to bed rather then hearing what I saw.
I finished getting ready for bed, brushing my teeth, putting the telescope away. I kept trying to tell her what I saw, but she seemed as pre-occupied as I was. I finally gave up and with a sigh lay down to sleep. “What’s wrong honey?” she asked. “Nothing” I replied. She turned and left, turning off the lights before shutting the door. That night I could barely sleep. Wondering what I saw, did I imagine it? I got up again and looked outside. The meteor shower was still going on, but it had slowed down. Just as I was about to lay down, I see it again.
Small bright light in the distance stopped just over the horizon. This time I dare not blink as I watched it. It began to move and I kept a close eye on it. “Has to be military plane or helicopter” I told myself. It seemed like forever as I sat and stared. It got a little closer and I began to shiver a little but I couldn’t figure out why. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. I told myself I need to stop, but I couldn’t move! No matter what I tried I just couldn’t move at all. As it got closer I began to shake even more. It was about 3 blocks away, right in front of me and I blacked out.
I woke up the next morning. My head was a little foggy and I barley understood what my mother was saying to me. “What happen to you last night?” she said with a concerned tone. I looked at her like I had no clue what she was talking about. She pointed to the pillow and I looked to find it stained with blood. I had apparently had a bloody nose last night but I couldn’t explain why. She asked me what happen last night and I told her in a very un-nerved tone “I don’t know remember”.