In just a couple of hours the Perseid Meteor Shower arrives for its annual rein. This year's prediction: spectacular.
In reading the attached story, I started to reflect back to a summer several years ago. A group of us were spending the weekend at a friend's vacation house at Lake of the Ozarks in Southern Missouri. We had spent a long, wonderful day on the lake skiing, fishing and even getting in some scuba diving in water with 5" visibility. "Scuba diving for the blind" is what I called it.
After a wonderful steak dinner and dealing with a minor power outage caused by a squirrel in a transformer, we sat out on the deck of the lake house enjoying the evening air, drinking margueritas and pina coladas and sharing stories and jokes. Someone mentioned that there was going to be a meteor shower later that night. Well, actually, very early the next morning. We all promised we'd go out on the lake to watch it.
Close to 2:00 a.m., the peak time for the astrological event, only two of us were able to make it; my good buddy Jason and me. We have been friends for a long time, the kind of friends who have dated each other's best friend, but not each other. We've cried on each other's shoulders during breakups, shared secrets and confidences; all which will keep us as good friends and nothing else.
Jason and I tried to wake up the others but got grumpy "go away's" from them. After awhile, we gave up trying to wake them, grabbed a couple of air mattresses and headed out the back door to the swimming deck. Already in our suits, we eased ourselves into the warm, quiet water and climbed aboard our air mattresses. Since I'm not the graceful type, I flailed around a bit before I was finally able to lay down on my raft and enjoy the night sky.
Jason made a sarcastic commented about my flailing. I made some kind of smart aleck comeback.
We laid there for awhile, enjoying the quiet. Our rafts were gently bobbing up and down on the water. We listened to the night sounds; a few locusts, an occasional dog, the quiet sounds of the lake water lapping against the docks, and a bullfrog.
I was getting drowsy from bobbing up and down on the water and struggled to keep my eyes open to watch the night sky. We waited. And waited. As I was starting to doze off, I heard Jason:
"Hey! There's one!....there's another.....and another!"
I opened my eyes wide, but saw nothing. I rubbed my eyes, but just saw stars.
But he was evidently having better luck. "There's another...and another....and another."
I squinted, and started to sit up on my raft, but felt like any movement would cause me to fall off again. So I quieted on my raft, still seeing nothing. Oh. Wait. I saw a flicker...and another....and another.
Jason was excited now. "There!! See it? There's another one! And another!"
I saw. "Jase?"
"Those are lightening bugs."
"You're not going to tell anyone about this, are you?"