Last night I walked out to our backyard with my youngest son to watch the Perseids meteor shower. The peak nights of this event were to include this night. The news stated we should see 60-70 per hour. Watching meteor showers is an annual event for my boys and me. We grab chairs and blankets, if it is winter, and sit out in the backyard pointing out the fiery light show that consists of burning space dust and rock. We always see at least one meteor and at certain nights, when the sky is clear, and the time is right, we can see a multitude.
Last night should have proved to be a good night for viewing. The sky was clear, and the moon was nowhere to be seen to lighten the sky. We stood outside waiting, staring into the heavens above in anticipation of that first one. We waited, and we waited but one did not pass.
We sat there staring around trying to catch that glimpse of one. When you stare too long, your eyes will play tricks on you, making you imagine seeing something cross by but the imaginary meteor pales in comparison to the real thing. We sat there vigilantly in anticipation of at least one this night, but It was starting to get a little late and we were getting a little tired. Before going to bed we decided to ask God to shoot us one meteor, just one, and we’ll call it a night. We figured that was a small request for Him to throw us one burning fastball on the peak night of the most popular meteor shower of the year. We just wanted to see one.
As we sat waiting for our “prayer” to be answered we got to talking about astronomy and the universe. My son fired off question after question and we discussed topics like the solar system, the stars and life in space. I found the perfect student to dispense my college elective astronomy knowledge to and he ate it all up. We discussed the big bang and he cited, verbatim, Newton’s Law of Motion. We completely geeked out. Here sat a boy, who now would rather play video games than spend time with us, just talking and asking questions as if he was 8 years old again. I was truly and utterly impressed with this young man and his knowledge and inquisitiveness. We sat for a while with our heads cocked and our necks aching just blabbering like two best friends and we saw nothing. Not a flicker was to be seen this night by us.
Well our necks were hurting, I had to work the next day and he needed to get sleep for practice so we decided to wrap it up. We both surmised that God works in His way and if we were not meant to see a meteor that night then so be it. His will be done.
We went into house where I hugged my son good night, told him I loved him and sent him off to his room. I turned out the lights and locked the back door. I stood there alone for a second, looking out to the dark, empty night sky and I said,
“Thank you, thank you for not showing us one meteor tonight”.