At nearly 4:00 early in the morning of Saturday the twelfth of this month, I stepped onto the porch step to dispose of a bag of garbage. Just as the storm door clicked shut behind me, a very brilliant streak of light drew across the sky from due north to north-northeast on a nearly horizontal trajectory.
The early morning had been a blurry routine of getting out of bed and getting ready for the day. I had started the coffee when I decided to take care of the garbage detail instead of watching the brew finish its process. The flash of the meteor worked better than a cup of joe to awaken my mind. In fact, it gave my entire consciousness a jolt.
There’s just something inspirational about mundane beauty that sets our imaginations loose. Maybe a sunrise or sunset helps our inner artist. Looking at an aurora at night might inspire our inner scientist. The common event of a rock entering the earth’s atmosphere and vaporizing from the friction might put a thrill into the moment of a regular morning.
You just need to be there and notice.
Meteors happen frequently each day and night. Usually they’re too small or the sky is blue with daylight or the night might be overcast for the fizzling rock to be seen.
I do recall an event about six years ago while walking home from work sometime after 4:00 AM. The sky was heavily overcast. Suddenly, I heard a distinct frying noise behind me. I reflexively turned around in reaction to the sound. I saw a flaming rock at about the height of the flight path taken by small, propeller driven aircraft. I could actually see the flames. I was astonished at the sizzling sound it made as it zoomed by. I imagined that it must have burned up or landed somewhere around Sioux City, Iowa.
The entire event happened during just a few seconds. If I would have blinked, I would have missed most of it. It seemed like time slowed down. I suppose that event will remain in my memories until I die.
I’ve often wondered about the scenario if the event would have happened during the daytime, maybe 4:00 PM. Could a person see the zooming, burning rock then? Certainly it could be heard, but could our vision react as quickly with less visual contrast?
Mankind used to call these objects falling stars. Now that we know that actual stars are extremely large thermonuclear spheroids that couldn’t fall to earth, we rarely refer to falling stars. If anything is going to be doing the falling, it would be the earth falling into a star. Yikes!
It’s much like many of our other comforting, long held notions and opinions. Frequently, if we just get a quick flash of empathy, we get a glimpse of how another person exists. If the flash of empathy is brilliant enough, our whole paradigm can shift to a simpler, less structured experience. At that time we shine with a clean, clear expression of compassion. It’s a flash of mindfulness that goes way beyond any belief system or mythology that we might invent or follow. It’s when the dusty cobwebs of belief finally clear away, allowing us to become fully authentic. At least for a little while.
I hope you can start one of your days with a meteor, too. A day like that will likely unfold into an extraordinary one.
The Blue Jay of Happiness knows there are many beliefs to relinquish. Most of them get in the way .