When I was younger my Mum and Dad would often sit outside at night, looking at the stars and watching for satellites.
I always thought it was a bit odd.
I remember seeing Halley’s Comet in 1986 and wondering if I’d still be alive the next time it came by in 2061. Heavy stuff for a nine year old.
The first episode showed just how small and insignificant we were in the universe and the second showed how easily we could be wiped off the face of aforementioned astronomical plane.
23 year old me felt insignificant enough as it was without the whole universe chiming in.
I didn’t bother watching beyond those first two instalments.
So space and the night sky filled with stars became a bit of a stranger to me.
A passive aggressive bully, if you will.
I tried to ignore it.
I started looking at night sky again.
Going outside when the International Space Station was due to silently streak high over New Zealand.
Admiring just how bright and red Mars is as it rises in the eastern sky.
I even started taking my daughter out each night to “wish upon a star” (it’s usually, actually, the planet Venus, but whatever..)
And maybe I was even thinking, hoping, a couple of those twinkles in the night sky might just be my parents looking down on us.
Now at night I often stop for a minute, look up and quietly smile at the stars.