Saturday, February 16, 2013


Last night I got away from the "urban" core of Window Rock and had my first view of the night sky visible in the deep darkness of the Rez.  I saw the Milky Way for the first time in a long, long time.  The Big Dipper stood straight up and down above the northern horizon.  The crescent moon, two days shy of first quarter, was high in the western sky.  Jupiter was crossing the meridian just behind the Plieades.  If I hadn't been freezing my butt off I could had stared at this glorious sight for hours.

Just standing there for those few minutes brought back so many memories of watching that immense sky during the five years I lived here.  Walking most nights with my dog most nights, I watched the eternal parade of planets across the sky and saw the stars wheeling about the pole as the months progressed.  I came away from that experience with an acute sense of my cosmic insignificance.  Surprisingly, that sense of insignificance also reminded me that I was very unique, that somehow random chance brought me into being in the midst of this vast universe.

I don't get the same sky in Olympia but I carry the understanding of my place in the universe from my days in Window Rock.  And when Olympia skies are cloudy or diminished by urban light I will think back to the cosmic glory of the Window Rock sky.  I may be far away from it these days but it is always a part of me.

Last night was a wonderful reminder of that.



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